Maundy Thursday Agape Feast – 5:45 PM in the fellowship hall.
Good Friday Service of Darkness – 6:30 PM in the sanctuary.
Judging by some of the recent headlines, you would be led to think that John Carter is a a great disappointment as a movie; that it is not worth seeing; and that people must be leaving movie theaters all over the United States wishing they could get their money back. Quite the opposite is true. Granted, John Carter is not a “great” movie, but it is a really good movie that is worth your time and money. As the bad press for the movie was emerging, I also started to hear of reports of others really liking the movie, particularly from those whose opinion I respect. That piqued my interest all the more. (Although I did not read this until after seeing the movie, Pete Peterson’s review over on The Rabbit Room is definitely worth the time, and makes the point far better than I will here as to why you should see John Carter.) Having watched all five seasons of the TV series, Friday Night Lights, I was interested to see how “Riggins” (Taylor Kitsch) performed in a feature film as the lead character, John Carter. I thought he did well, and was a good fit for the character. The lead female role of Dejah Thoris was played by Lynn Collins, who I was completely unfamiliar with, and I found her character quite interesting. It is not every day that you get a brilliant scientist- fierce warrior-beautiful princess all rolled into one! Sure there a few weak spots, but come on, it’s a movie, and the strengths of the movie outweigh them. There’s actually a story that gets developed and has some interesting characters, and you have to actually pay attention. Sure, there are some predictable spots, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and then there are other times when you are left guessing up until the last second. You might guess correctly, and other times you might be surprised. I loved the ending, and there was a scene in the middle of the movie that was one of the most powerful sixty or so seconds that I can remember in some time. When John Carter comes out on DVD I will definitely buy it, but hopefully will get another chance to see it on the big screen before then.
Finally got around to watching Hugo. On the whole, I liked it. Beautiful visually; well-acted; and actually had some character development. However, I thought it dragged somewhat, especially the first hour, so I wasn’t as engrossed by the film as I might have hoped or was even willing to be. This is a strange way to put this, but the parts of the movie that I liked I really liked. They made an impression. They made me pause and reflect, and I was drawn into the story. However, I don’t think these moments are enough to make this a great movie. Also, bear in mind, this is not really a “children’s” movie, despite how it is/was marketed. Yes, children are central characters, and there’s an element of adventure involved that is appealing to children, but don’t expect a movie along the lines of a Nanny McPhee. This “film” is much more serious. It has been interesting to see the varying reviews for Hugo, especially among friends and acquaintances, and the opinions have been rather polarized. People either think it is long and uninteresting or they love it. I suppose I land somewhere in between, and might be willing to watch it again. There’s nothing overtly objectionable in the content, and I will let my kids watch it, but won’t be surprised if they become disinterested in the early going.
A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about the relationship between obedience and trust. When my children obey the commands that they are given, I am all the more inclined to trust them. When they do not obey, that develops a certain level of distrust. Of course, we want to be able to trust our children, and it is important for them to learn to obey and develop that trust because it leads to greater maturity. As my children learn to obey and prove their trustworthiness, then I am necessarily going to entrust them with greater responsibilities, which inevitably leads to greater freedom. That might seem counter-intuitive at first, and to our sinful natures that is certainly the case. What child isn’t inclined to grab after freedom at the expense of responsibility? Surely adults have made the same error or committed the same sin in their Christian lives. Essentially, it is the sin of the garden all over again: grasping at something before the proper time. Nevertheless, in God’s economy obedience engenders trust, which leads to freedom, which is the fruit of maturity. Coming to a greater understanding of this reality and enabling our children to understand it is ever a challenge, but necessary for their growth in grace, and ours as well. The principle holds true between our Heavenly Father and us. As we obey, as we show ourselves to be faithful in what He has for us it will inevitably lead to Him entrusting us with more. While that might seem daunting from one perspective, maturity is the goal, even growing up to the “mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). So as we reflect on helping our children grasp these principles of obedience, trust, and freedom, let us also reflect on them as they relate to our relationship with our Father in Heaven; giving ourselves to glad obedience, even as patterned in Christ, the Mature Man.
April 20, 21 and 22
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