Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

Archive for July 5th, 2006

So I got this idea…

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Some of you know of the underlining dissatisfaction I’ve had with church lately.  I started wondering the other day if, after six years of college and a degree in Bible and Theology, that the reason for my discontent lay in a desire to serve rather than just take up a pew.  I’m not sure where the idea came from, but the idea of my starting a small group ministry at my local church hopped in my head, and has since rented out a room. 

The idea’s still a little rough, but so far, the goal I have in mind is to lead a group in how to discern certain scriptural and theological themes by giving examples from a select group of films, and hopefully present a way to share their faith with others just by talking about the movies. 

For example, in the movie Cast Away, Chuck Noland is a man who lives and dies by the clock—“we cannot allow ourselves the sin of turning our backs on time,” he says at one point.  Later, his plane crashes, marooning him on a lonely island somewhere in the Pacific.  He washes up on shore to find his beeper ruined and his watch flooded beyond repair.  He struggles to survive.  He learns to manipulate fire, and four years later, builds a raft and tries to leave.  When he’s picked up, he tries to reclaim his life.  He tells his friend that, on the island, he had “power over nothing.”  He says, “I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive, I had to keep breathing, even though there was no reason to hope.” 

The tide, he says, eventually delivered him a sail.  Now returned to his life, he finds the woman he loves and learns she has moved on.  He had lost her on the island, and has now lost her again in his return.  “I know what I have to do now,” he says.  “Gotta keep breathing.  Because tomorrow the sun will rise.  Who knows what the tide could bring.”  And we’re left with a beautiful moment—Chuck standing at a lone intersection in Nowhere, TX, at the crossroads to choose his path.  It is a moment indicative of losing ourselves to sorrow, despair, tragedy.  And we learn that we have to keep breathing.  Eventually, God delivers us a sail. 

I know, it still reads pretty shallow, but I see—I feel—potential for more here.  I feel that, if I am to serve, then I ought to at least be myself.  And I like the movies.   I think that, if we know where to look and how, we can see the hand of God reaching through a window in some of the most secular of stories.  God is the God of men and also of elves, Tolkien once wrote.  Part of evangelism, I believe, isn’t so much about closing the deal as it is teaching people how to hear His voice.  Plant the seed.  This is my little journey in learning how to do that. 


Written by taj

July 5, 2006 at 11:52 pm

Posted in Evangelism, Movies