Movies, they have been a background of all our lives and something we cannot imagine not being present with us. They have changed in many different ways over the past 100+ years of their existence; from early silent, black and white films to today’s feature films where computers can make anything look real. The first movie I saw in the theatre was Star Wars, I was all of a year old. I will be honest, I am picky with movies. I am the type who generally agrees with the film critics reviews. Because I tend to be picky, I don’t see as many movies as a lot of you. The only caveat would be that if it is a movie that a girl under the age of ten wants to see, I have seen it! Has there ever been a movie in your life that you were willing to stand in line for hours to see on the day it came ou? I remember waiting for hours to see the movie Braveheart when it opened in the late spring of 1995. I went nine times that spring/summer to watch it. Little did I know that it would be the precursor to years of kilt wearing! I still count it as one of my three favorite movies of all time.
The question may be rolling around in your mind, “Why is Pastor Ben talking about movies?” Well, there is a reason that most of us connect with movies, they illicit certain emotions in us that leave us wanting more. We hunger and thirst after life, and movies often meet a lot of our desires. Tony Campolo, retired professor from Easter University stated in the book, “How Movies Helped Save My Soul,”
…theology should be responding to the questions raised by the movies of today. Given the death of contemporary theology, as it has gotten sidetracked into logical positivism, and deconstructionism (that there is no God or truth), it may have fallen to those who make movies to raise the questions that are of ultimate concern to most of us.
During the month of September, we will have a series, Pastor Ben Goes to the Movies. This will be a series built around finding God’s message in the movies. We hunger and thirst for so much in our lives and movies help to quench that thirst to a certain extent, but maybe there are greater underlying messages which we do not even realize. Maybe the gospel can be found in places we least expect? Shawshank Redemption is a spectacular movie! The movie was based on a novella by Steven King. The story is about a reclusive introverted man who is wrongly convicted of killing his wife and her boyfriend. He spends many years in prison refusing to lose hope. The message of God’s hope given to His creation in Christ is all over this movie. Even though we may be broken down and beat up, a spirit of life is built into us that evil cannot kill unless we let it. I look forward to seeing all of you in church as we take a look at movies in a slightly different light!!
See you in church,
By the way, my two other favorites are Titanic and Citizen Kane. Citizen Kane is still the bench mark for film making over 70 years after its release and still voted by the Academy as the number one movie of all time.
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