Saturday, May 20, 2006

DaVinci Code

America is abuzz about the new movie The DaVinci Code. Zillions of people are flocking to theaters to see it. Personally, I can’t wait to see it.

I read the book, and I thought it was a well-written, exciting story. I have a few pre-formed ideas about the movie.

· Tom Hanks is one of the best actors of the entire age. I automatically like every movie he is in. I can’t picture him as Hamlet, but he could play any other role.

· The book is fiction. The movie will also be fiction. The way the story is presented in the book gives it an air of being true, but the same can be said of Robinson Crusoe. My mind will not be changed about the divinity of Christ. My faith will not be shattered because of this movie. My faith is founded on solid truth: Jesus was both God and man.

· I am afraid that large numbers of people who don’t know much about Jesus will get the wrong idea about him and believe the story. I am afraid that people will think they know the newly discovered (un)truth that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus and had a child by him. Mary Magdalene was a strong supporter of Jesus; she loved him, but there is no mention in the Bible of marriage between them. He cast out seven demons from her and saved her from darkness. She knew he was the Christ—the long-awaited Messiah. When she saw that he had risen from death, she cried out, “Rabboni!” That means something like “great teacher”! Women don’t call their husbands that.

· I believe Christians should see the movie so that they can help clear up misconceptions that people will have as a result of seeing it. I don’t think we should stay away from it in protest. If we do, we won’t be able to communicate with people who have been misled by it.

Catholics have requested that their members not see the movie. It puts Opus Dei, a Catholic organization, in a bad light.

Messianic Jews, on the other hand, are encouraging people to see it. The Chosen People Ministry, headquartered in New York City, sponsored a debate/discussion of the movie on Monday, and it was attended by a huge crowd of 600 at the Hilton. About 8,000 people listened to it on the Internet. Because of the great demand, it will be re-broadcast Tuesday evening, May 23, at 7:00 eastern time (8:00 central time). To listen to the debate, tune in to on Tuesday night. Their e-announcement said, “Don't miss this opportunity to spark a conversation with your friends about the claims of the book and the truth of Messiah!” Their web site is found at this address:

Sunday, May 07, 2006

To Sock and Bop

My son and daughter-in-law make a practice of teaching their three little boys (my grandchildren!) the words to all kinds of Christian songs and hymns. The five of them talk, pray, and sing together all piled up in one of the boys’ beds at bedtime. The boys are little—one, three, and five. But they pick up the words and tunes quickly, even the old hymn classics, and they will happily perform for us if we ask.

One night about a year ago, they were singing “Victory in Jesus,” and the boys know the words:

O victory in Jesus, my Savior forever.
He sought me and bought me with his redeeming blood.
He loved me ere I knew him, and all my love is due him.
He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.

Isaiah, the oldest, was belting it out with great gusto. He stopped suddenly after the second line and asked, “Mommy—why does Jesus sock me and bop me?”

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Of Motherhood

Mother’s Day is coming up in a week or so. If you aren’t a mother, you probably have at some time had a mother. So it’s time to think about motherhood.

I have three children. They are grown now and have children of their own—my grandchildren! Even if my kids are adults now, they are still my kids. And I’ll always love them more than I can possibly say. I believe children are gifts from God. I feel that being a mother has been the most important and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. When they all come to visit for a couple of days and then leave to go back to their own homes, I usually have a little empty-nest syndrome popping up again—not as bad as in the first years—but it’s there, all the same.

This excerpt was taken from a Boundless Webzine article called “Children Are the Good Life,” written by Roberto Rivera y Carlo. Read the whole article at --It’s good!

Quick: name the builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Who built the temple complex at Angkor Wat? While the buildings, among the greatest monuments ever built, still stand, their builders are all but forgotten, save to a relative handful of specialists. Given that none of us can reasonably hope to match this level of accomplishment, what's reasonable is to place our hope for immortality in our children.

(You see this way of thinking at work in Genesis where God promised Abram that He would make his descendants as "numerous as the stars." Abram's more accomplished contemporaries are all-but-forgotten while, through his offspring, all nations on Earth were blessed.)

There's another, more personal, way in that children are a blessing: they can transform you. They teach us what unconditional love, devotion and sacrifice mean in a way that no other experience can. They help us to distinguish what's important from what's not and what's lasting from what's transient. In other words, they make us better people.