I’ve seen a lot of well-made, deeply flawed movies lately:
The Wind Rises – Celebrates love, sacrifice, friendship, service, hard work, perseverance, innovation. Oh yeah, and the creation of the Zero, that plane that helped to kill thousands of Americans in WW2. But it’s okay – the designers were just doing their job. Just like the Germans. No biggie. Really Miyazaki?
Guardians of the Galaxy – Celebrates teamwork, courage, creativity, trust. Also comes with these bonus features: Violence and killing are fun! It’s good to be good and bad! Promiscuity is cool and women are basically sex objects. Welcome back to middle school.
The Fault in our Stars – Celebrates honesty, friendship, love, loyalty, living life to the fullest. But when it comes to the greater questions of life and death, the best it can do is guess. I kept thinking “How different would this story be if Gus and Hazel Grace knew Jesus?”
Boyhood – Celebrates journey, discovery, family, relationships, and authenticity. Raises important questions and looks deeper than most. But its answers are as empty and confused as its main character. I just wanted the characters to slow down because everyone was going nowhere fast.
I don’t expect Christian answers from most movies because most movies are written by non-Christians. There is not a perfect, loving, compassionate God behind the scenes, let alone in the scenes, because it’s assumed that a) he doesn’t exist, b) if he does exist, we can’t possibly know for sure c) he’s a monster, or d) he’s some impersonal, nebulous, unknowable life force. And so the characters are left to fend for themselves and do the best they can.
The Bible says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.” If this Jesus thing is just a myth, just some meaningless religious tradition people blindly adhere to, then you might as well live to party and take what you can, because we’re all going to die in the end anyways.
But the resurrection is not a myth; it’s real. Right now, as you read this, Jesus is alive and relating to people all over the world. And he wants to relate to you. He says, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
I was reminded as I watched these films that we live in a world full of people who are lost and confused; grasping to find the good, true, and beautiful, and often coming up short.
Jesus said it best,
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Only the living Christ can satisfy our thirsty souls, heal our broken hearts, free us from captivity, redeem our past, and give us a future worth living for. If you know Jesus, you know this. But how many of your friends, neighbors, and co-workers do? Are you praying for them? Are you burdened for them? Are you showing God’s love to them?
I confess I often come up short in this area. I get busy with the business of life and fail to notice the hurting people all around me. I need to remember that there’s a war on, life is short, and people need to know the good news.
How about you?