18 August 2005

Everyday, Incarnate Stories

Breathtaking. Take a long look at a story that has moved your soul and ask yourself "What is going on here?" and you will find that there is something dramtic at work. God is there; whispering. He's whispering the deep truths of the human soul and His plan for redemption. I have had the privilege to stop and listen to 3 stories during the last couple of weeks while teaching the "God in the Movies" series. It has been a tremendous gift. Today I am thoroughly convinced of Jesus' words:

John 6:44 (ESV) No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me-

The Father is involved in secular culture way before we are because His heart for the world and His glory greatly exceeds ours. We have an amazing God, we did not seek Him - He became incarnate and His spirit is incarnate in multiple media to this day. Open your eyes to messages in a bottle from a fiercely passionate God.

Here is the invitation to the "God in the Movies" series, distributed to 35,000 homes in Fort Collins two weeks ago. The link is to an article in today's Fort Collins Coloradoan covering the series. Pay special attention to the writer's slant on the series, our conversation was amazing and I believe that God may be speaking to her heart as she covered this story.


"I am concerned with a certain way of looking at life, which was created in me by the fairy tales, but has since been meekly ratified by the mere facts." G.K. Chesterton

Watching children play can be an insightful exercise. Children can create an entire new world in minutes complete with heroes, villians, and cosmic struggle. As children we seem to have a sense that life is much bigger than our five senses can detect. There is some great myster, something greater than us, and "make believe" becomes the only possible entry to that "other world." As we age, our story telling may change, but the mystery remains.

The Bible tells us God has "set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Is it not remarkable that the stories that move us share common elements? Stories become great because they excite the eternity set in our hearts. Chesterton saw this with clarity: faity tales can reveal truth that extends beyond historical accuracy to the eternal truths of life.

Humanity has told stories throughout history because, throughout history, humanity has searched for answers. The line at the theater is not a new phenomenon. Film has simply become the dominant story-telling medium of our day.

What if the moments that excite our hearts were echoing a larger story that, if fully understood, could help us make sense of the mystery? Could God be leaving a trail of clues? If a great film has moved you, God may have been using that to reveal a plan for your redemption.

"The Deeper Side of Blockbusters" - Fort Collins Coloradoan

"God in the Movies" - Summitview's Website which includes the audio from the first message of the series.

For classic reading on similar themes check out these titles:
"Orthodoxy" by G.K. Chesterton (especially Chapter 4 - "The Ethics of Elfland")

"The Tolkien Reader" by J.R.R. Tolkien (especially the section "On Fairy-Stories"

"The New Man" by Thomas Merton (especially Chapter 2 - "Promethean Theology")