I don’t like to dwell on this but it’s hard to ignore the negativity in our lives and in our world. Often it feels like these seasons of challenge come in waves. They may happen inexplicably just to make them seem even more scary and to make us feel more powerless. When times of personal upheaval coincide with chaotic and dark world events, it takes a lot of faith to keep the sunny side up.
But we have to. And our Abba shows us the Way. In our darkest hours we are sometimes amazed at the glimmers of goodness, the other parts of our lives that remain untouched by a setback or unkindness. Being able to cling in gratitude to these evidences of His love and faithfulness helps to lift us from the darkness. The stories of heroism and forgiveness after the Boston Marathon tragedy several years back helped to counteract the atrocities. These points of light shattering the darkness do not take the hurt or loss away, but rather, show us hope for a better day, just as those days have come to the many touched by the attack. And the tragedy fortified the community’s faith in each other and in a greater power, for no one could have endured such sorrow and loss alone. Those lost are not forgotten, those injured are healing, safety measures are improved, communities are even closer. The event can once again be a time of happiness, not just a remembrance of sorrow. This redemptive cycle is typical of such experiences, communally and personally.
To counteract the periods of tragedy and loss which at times seem disproportionately often, I have to say that in my 60 plus years of life, I have never lived in a time more focussed on HaShem in mainstream media which is an important indicator of a society’s values and interests. Assuredly that is no coincidence! Yet how can that be said since sometimes it seems as if our society is declining daily? I would suggest that whatever forces are causing that decline, an even greater force is pulling in the opposite direction toward good and we know who wins that tug of war for our souls. . .
Yes, many are choosing poorly and I don’t need to enumerate the many ways, from personal to political. But as this has been happening, our usually secular society atypically has been much more open to stories related to HaShem, and by implication, more interested in thinking about Him. Instead of our Abba waiting for us to make the choices we should, i.e., to make Him the center of our lives, doors have been opened to bring His message outside the usual houses of worship and into mainstream media. For example, from “Wikipedia”:
“‘The Bible’ is a television miniseries based on the Bible. . . . The first episode of the mini-series was seen by 13.1 million viewers, the largest cable television audience of 2013 to date. The second installment continued “to deliver blockbuster ratings” for the network, attracting 10.8 million viewers. The third installment on March 17, 2013 was once again the No. 1 show on all of Sunday night television with 10.9 million total viewers. In addition, the series garnered 4.2 million adults 25–54 and 3.5 million adults 18–49. In total, with subsequent airings, ‘The Bible‘ has received more than 100 million cumulative views.
The series received three Emmy Award nominations for best miniseries, and sound editing and sound mixing on July 18, 2013.
Parts of the telecast – including unaired footage – have been turned into a feature film about the life of Jesus entitled ‘Son of God‘. A sequel series with the title A.D. ‘The Bible Continues‘ aired on NBC.”
Typical “Christian movies” used to be for a target audience, and thus, often were as if preaching to the choir, i.e, Christians love Christian movies. Now such movies are being produced at the same quality as high budget secular movies, are in mainstream media, and doing well at the box office. How utterly amazing that these messages of God are literally reaching millions! And in today’s secular society, it is telling that these types of TV programs and movies are successful, a dramatic evidence of mankind’s needing Him and wanting more of Him, revealing of a time when more are thirsting to know Him, even if subconsciously. The broader interest in this genre may be a powerful reaction to the dark times we are enduring more intensely during these days of challenge.
It’s been two generations since Charlton Heston’s “The 10 Commandments” and “Ben Hur”. Maybe films like “Noah” had to be a door opener, as far as that was from Biblical accuracy, to entice those among us who are younger or not Bible oriented to at least be interested in the subject matter. HaShem meets us where we are. Some of the liberties taken by these films can be overlooked for the bigger messages they bring, that He is God and our lives belong to Him.
The list of such films is ever growing, just to mention a few in the last year: “War Room”, “Miracles from Heaven”,”God’s Not Dead2″, “Risen”, “The Young Messiah”, probably more. The thought that such stories are in mainstream movie theatres reaching those who otherwise would not know these events, or have thought of them for a long time, is not a small point. Such films are so needed to balance the darkness of other movies out there. What a powerful blessing for our Abba to orchestrate the production of such films enabling those struggling with the many personal and worldly challenges to feel hope for today and for the future. To remember that He is in control. As we as a people are being pulled by ever darker forces, we are more strongly being drawn to His light through means and media He knows we can entertain, literally.
These are amazing times. I encourage you to focus on the big picture, especially when things seem worse than usual. Our Abba is manifesting His presence in so many little ways in your life as well as on the big screen. Please silence your cell phones and enjoy the show! Better yet, help to usher it in.