Times Square Visitors Reminded of True Meaning of Christmas
As Barna Group Finds Christianity's Influence on Culture "Largely Invisible," American Bible Society Drops in to Times Square
Tourists are finding an unexpected surprise in Times Square this Christmas season: a reminder of the God behind the holiday.
Perched high on the CBS jumbo outdoor screen, American Bible Society takes viewers on a journey from the perspective of the Christ child. The 30-second ad begins in outer space and takes the viewer on a trip into the heart of Times Square. Once there, the message appears on the screen "God came near . . . because you were worth the trip."
"The message of the ad is the message of Christmas," said American Bible Society's Communications Director Geof Morin. "God came to earth because He loves us too much to stay away."
The ad will be seen as many as 18 times each day by the estimated 1.5 million daily visitors to Times Square.
American Bible Society's ad is debuting just as the Barna Group indicates that Christianity's cultural influence may be reaching an all-time low. Analyzing data from more than 5,000 Barna-conducted interviews in 2010, George Barna drew six "mega-themes" about the state of faith in America. Barna concluded that "new ways of relating to Americans and exposing the heart and soul of the Christian faith are required."
According to Morin, American Bible Society couldn't agree more. "The message of the Bible is unchanging, but how we deliver that message is constantly changing. We chose to do an ad in Times Square because we want to take the message of the Bible to people where they are in a way that is relevant to them."
To that end, American Bible Society is offering a host of electronic resources to help families uncover the true meaning of Christmas. Online offerings include:
- Christmas Activities
- Free Audio Downloads
- Test Your Bible Knowledge: The Christmas Story Quiz
- With Thankful Hearts - Devotional readings for the Christmas Cycle
For a complete list of Christmas-themed resources, visit UncoverChristmas.com.
About American Bible Society:
Headquartered in Manhattan, the 194-year-old American Bible Society exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation's oldest nonprofit organizations, today's American Bible Society provides interactive, high- and low-tech resources enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time.