Public access television was created to give the general public an outlet to create their own content and broadcast it on specialty cable channels. The bulk of these shows turned out to be notoriously bad, sometimes entertainingly so.
I remember one from the 80s when I lived in Austin, TX. It was a fishing show that had a guy sitting in a rowboat. The boat sat, not on a river or lake, but on the floor of the studio. The guy sat there with a rod and fake fish. Every once in a while a guest would walk over and climb into the little boat with him and they’d talk about fishing.
I can’t tell you what in the world we found so funny about this, but my friends and I would laugh about it for hours. I was not a kid at the time. I was a college graduate with a full-time job.
The most famous (and in my opinion the funniest) public access show has to be the one depicted in the recurring Saturday Night Live Skit “Wayne’s World.” In it, Wayne and his friend Garth, would discuss their favorite heavy metal bands and occasionally an actual metal musician would join them as a guest on the show. Wayne and Garth loved metal.On the rare occasion they were in the presence of an actual metal band, they would fall to their knees and kowtow using one of the phrases that made them famous, “We’re not worthy!” These two uberfans did not feel they deserved to be in the presence of their idols.
Most of us have felt unworthy at one time or another. We’ve had the feeling that we didn’t deserve to receive the award, or grade, or notoriety we somehow got. We might have even felt we didn’t deserve to have someone as a friend because they were somehow better than we were. It can feel very good to be around someone whom we admire a great deal. But it isn’t pleasant to feel we don’t deserve to be there.
One of the ways Jesus taught his followers was to tell them parables. One of the most famous parables is often called the Prodigal Son. Prodigal means wasteful and extravagant, and this son was both of those things. Eventually he ran out of money and wasn’t able to support himself and he decided his only hope was to go back home. But he knew he had behaved badly, and he didn’t feel worthy. In Luke 15:21, Jesus told them, “Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”
I am no longer worthy. I used to be deserving, but then I behaved badly, very badly, and now I don’t deserve it any more.
The good news is that it doesn’t matter what we have done. We don’t have to be worthy for God to love us and welcome us home. None of us have truly lived up to the person we could be, but God still loves us. God just wants us to return home.