Pastor's Blog
July 16, 2017, 12:00 AM

From the Pastor - July 16, 2017

Dear Friends,

I grew up pretty poor, so I didn’t get to see many movies, but I can still recall so many things from that hot summer day in 1977.  The way the air conditioning made me shiver a little when we walked into the theater.  The buzz of excitement as the crowds waiting to get into the theater tried not to listen the crowds leaving the recent showing, in case we overheard a spoiler.  The sheer size of the pop and the popcorn that my Uncle Jim bought for us to share!  I remember the way the seat felt on my legs; the aged velvet was crunchy and worn and felt both welcoming and irritating at the same time.  The lights dimmed, the crowd grew quiet and though I do not remember them, I am sure there were a few trailers.  All I remember was the opening scene, a huge starship tracking slowly into the frame, overtaking a smaller, impossibly outmatched ship.  And of course, eventually, the scrolling words that gave us the back story of this first of its kind amazing tale.  “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…”

That was all it took to make me a fan of Star Wars specifically and movies in general.  They grabbed a place in my heart, and even at the young age of seven, I was amazed at how powerfully they could tell a story.  Many years, and many movies later, I would begin to encounter the true stories of the Bible.  I have to admit that in my mind I saw the prophets of the old testament looking like Obi Wan Kenobi, and the young David probably looked an awful lot like Luke Skywalker in my imagination.  Princess Leia in her strong rebellious stand for justice and truth cast a flickering light over the stories of Ruth and Esther, and let’s be honest - it’s hard not to see the similarities between the Roman empire that crucified Jesus and the evil empire personified by Darth Vader.

Movies, for better or worse, have captured the hearts and minds of the majority of the American public.  If someone made the public declaration that they did not go to church, few people would notice.  Tell someone you don’t go to the movies and you are downright strange!

What if the power of Hollywood could be harnessed for the good of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Wouldn’t that be amazing!  I think it can, and over the next few weeks, I hope to walk with you as we attempt to do just that.  Where cinema and Scripture line up we can find a way to use the film to point out the truth of God.  Where they contradict each other we can use the film as a starting point for discussions that can be real, and life changing.  I look forward to joining you at the movies this summer!

In God’s Grip,
Pastor Mark

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