I went to the movies Saturday afternoon. Since I’m stuck up here in KC by myself (not much longer) I can’t stand to stay in the hotel room on the weekend. So I decided to go to the movies. The only thing that sounded halfway interesting was The Descendants. I bought tickets on line. Then I turned on the TV. TCM had High Sierra with Humphrey Bogart. Great movie. I was wishing I hadn’t bought the ticket.
The Descendants is R rated for language. I guess I need to say spoiler alert here but really the movie is not about plot. Most of the plot is revealed in the first twenty minutes. The wife was hurt in a boating accident and is in a coma. Turns out the marriage was in trouble and she had been having an affair. The rest of the movie was about how the family dealt with these things. I can’t say I was sorry I saw the movie but after the sheer joy of the Muppets last week…
Oh the tears. Can you imagine the tears in a movie like this? Most on screen but some of my own. I felt like I needed to go back to the Muppets to get over it.
I love to get to the theater plenty early. Saturday I stepped into the theater to make sure the previous screening was over before I got my popcorn. A promo was running for the new TV series Dallas. Dallas was a series in the eighties. It was about a rich family in Dallas, the Ewings. Oil rich, cattle rich. At the center was J. R. Ewing. Audacious, arrogant, without morals. He would do anything to get his way. J. R. was larger than life. The Ewing family, the city of Dallas, the state of Texas all larger than life. Dallas was one of our guilty pleasures. We loved to hate J. R.
The promo showed an overhead shot of a field with cattle and a gushing oil well. Over that was playing the Dallas theme song. Talk about larger than life. It kind of got me going. Not that I’m looking forward to the new series necessarily. It will probably be a bust. But just the idea… Larger than life.
They’ve started to run TV commercials before the movie, the same commercials they run on TV and I hate it. I didn’t come to watch TV. Besides why would you pass up the opportunity to make your product larger than life?
Like I said I like to get there early. They show background on upcoming movies and TV. And they show the trailers. I sit there thinking ‘I want to see that one’ and ‘That looks interesting’. The majority of the movies don’t fulfill the promise of the trailer. But that’s alright. Just watching the trailers gets my imagination stirred up, get the creative juices flowing. “What if this happened and then that happened’. I start producing scenes in my head.
So what does this have to do with Christianity? Movies, TV, fiction? Some would say I couldn’t really be a Christian if I’m going to the movies anyway. But here’s the thing. I think we should use every means available to tell the Story. I think God wants us to be creative in telling the Story. And I think He wants us to make it larger than life. When you first encountered the fullness of His presence even though it was a still small voice it was a larger than life experience, wasn’t it? It was life changing.
After all if anybody’s larger than life… No let me correct that. There is nobody really, truly larger than life except the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.