Summer Reading

Summer Reading:

This reading is in support of the St Thomas mission to support the Year of Faith and the Emeritus Pontiff’s call for mission.

I recently was able to get some iTunes cards from the states and top off my Apple account, to which I had promised myself to get the History Channels series, “The Bible”.

I understand from reviews and press coverage that this was a very good series, which if not historically accurate, was a good attempt at keeping with the spirit of the Bible. I began to watch parts of it this past week, mainly with my daughter.

This show is not a discussion of the Bible, but rather recreates the spirit of the Bible, by recreating the stories of the bible on your screen. There is no real discussion of the deeper meaning of the stories, at least not so far. There are very few comments from anyone other than the characters in the vignettes.

My daughter loves it…. She can’t wait to see Samson, She can’t wait to see about Daniel and the Lions…. The story of Abraham and his son Isaac, enthralled her.

I thought to myself, the Old Testament stories did not walk so softly, although they certainly did carry a big stick.

These stories are real Wrath of God stories: God throws Adam and Eve out of paradise; Cain kills Able; God Destroys the World by Water; then later Destroys the city of Sodom; Plagues over Egypt; David kills Goliath… WOW, I felt I should have put some more parental guidance into this selection…

I started to remember the classic films: Charleston Hesston in the 10 Commandments, Ben Hur, David and Goliath to name only a few.

In the previews of upcoming episodes, we see the figure of Christ. The Kristos, the anointed or chosen one, who comes to cleanse the worlds sins and provide us a new covenant.

Just seeing the actor reminded me of all the wonderful things that our God through Christ offers to us today. He offers us:

Hope: hope for an eternal life and hope for our ascension to be with him.

Mercy: In that he can grant his mercy to us in order to ease our strife.

Forgiveness: Having made the ultimate sacrifice for mankind, the Lamb of God is without end in his ability to grant absolution (might I add, without the floods, or being turned into a pillar of salt)

Grace: As a part of the Trinity, being true God from True God, he connects us to the incalculable power and blessing that are God.

Above all, he offers us Love. Love not only for us from him, but love for one another… Through his grace, we can experience the only thing that truly makes us Devine on earth. Our ability to experience love in all its forms, and to share it with those around us, motivates me.

Father William told me that a film by Cecil B DeMille “King of Kings” (The 1927 edition) was a particularly powerful message to a young man, who would later become a priest. This would be one of the few films that one can say is definitely rooted in the New Testament.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is that Hollywood may like the Old Testament stories for their power, action, romance and even violence. You may be addicted to the action and intrigue, if so, I can recommend starting at Genesis and working you way forward. But for a good story about what makes our church wonderful, the Gospels and the New Testament will surely make inspired reading for you during this summer vacation.

Give it a try…

God Bless.