Headlines from First Thoughts

Friday, December 09, 2005


C.S. Lewis may not have preferred a theatrical adaptation of his children's book (see previous post), but I am glad Disney chose to do produce one anyway. The Lion, et al. was a thrilling portrayal of a classic book. The best part, however, was the audience. I rarely get to see a movie when it premieres, especially not in a packed room. Last night, I watched the movie with 200 of my closest friends and other guests from First Baptist.

I loved the comments in the foyer from people of all ages: "The 3rd grade Sunday School class is sitting together." "We're on a date tonight." "I talked with someone at Disney, and they want to know my opinion about the movie." I'm sure most of the 3rd graders proudly gave away the ending at school today and made plans to take their buddies this weekend.

The film did not disappoint; it lived up to the hype. Three scenes are worth a brief comment from pastoral eyes. One reminded me of the way we approach the kingdom of God. The children arrived where their new nanny met them. When she saw them with just a few bags in their possession. She asked, "Is that all you have." "Just us," they replied.

Another scene captured the purpose of Christmas gifts. When Father Christmas appeared to encourage the children as they fled the witch, he gave them presents. They were to be used to help others rather than themselves. A healing balm, arrows, a shield, a sword, and horn were given for the purpose of the mission. Should not the gifts we exchange this season be given to share again with others?

The last one is a baptism scene following the encounter with Father Christmas. When the children and the beavers cross an icy, thawing river, they are stranded on melting ice. Peter breaks the ice with his sword; and they float down the river, much like a small church clinging to each other. Just as an individual is suddenly thrust under water in baptism to remind them of the death of their old life to sin through Jesus' new eternal life, suddenly, the children go under the water and feel the pain of a near-drowning experience. They arrive on land and look around thinking they have lost Lucy. They hear her voice coming from behind, and they are safe again. In the same way, the church looks for those they have lost, and others caught in the current of life; and we guide people to safety.

Plenty of other scenes are laced with spiritual, creative, fun twists. Art, like any good book, or page from scripture, always reveals another dimension depending on who's looking. Perhaps new eyes will be opened by seeing something even Jack Lewis never imagined.

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