â€śIâ€™ve been telling everyone whoâ€™ll listen how great Downton Abbey is,â€ť I said in a sermon that was technically about evangelism. I was illustrating St. Augustineâ€™s point that when people love, say, a great actor they tell others about himâ€”and so how much more should we tell others about the gospel. A week later I learned how (un)successful that point had been.
â€śIâ€™ve watched every episode,â€ť a parishioner said. â€śNow what was it you were trying to say about that show?â€ť
Maybe just that itâ€™s really, really good. The TV series made in Great Britain, which completed its second season this winter, has been a hit around the world. A third season is in production and talk about a fourth is under way. All this attention is being showered on a costume drama (the series is set in the era of World War I), which usually appeals only to stodgy, BBC-watching nerds. In the ultimate sign of pop culture respect, Saturday Night Live spoofed the show.