But, Did You Read the Book?

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Pastoral rant: I really dislike how movies butcher books. They cut out good parts, alter plot lites, waterdown some characters, overhype other ones. There are so many good examples of how movies have taken a marvelous book and construed it into something completely different. And, there are precious few examples of where a movie has truly done a great book justice.

I can remember distinctly the first time I was let down by the movie industry. I was in fifth grade and recovering from a nasty strain of strep throat. I had a lot of time to sit and not a lot of energy to do much else. So, I got to watch a more-than-average distribution of videos. I was really excited to see the movie, “The Rats of NIHM.” I had read the book and was a fan (the photo above is from the movie).

But, alas, the movie was weak. It didn’t conform to the book as much as I had hoped. It cut out some of my favorite scenes. In my 10-year-old brain, I judged it and found it wanting. There was so much more! SO much more!

I feel the same way about Holy Week (this coming week!). Some churches practice reading both Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-40) and the rest of the Passion Story (Luke 22:14–23:56). If you look at the sheer number of Bible verses involved there, you should get the idea of what happens when you read both… you rush, you compact the story down, you try to cram too much into an hour (or more).

It’s much like a movie. It takes some really incredible moments in the Bible and in our faith and tries to compact it down into something digestible by the masses. But, like a movie based upon a really good story, it isn’t able to give it the time and moments that it needs.

This is why we focus only on the palms this Sunday. It is why we focus on the donkey. It is why we leave out the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Those stories deserve their own time. There is so much more! So much more emotion. So much more meaning. Frankly, so much more story to tell.

Below is the schedule for Holy Week services. I encourage you to come to as many as you can. We’re going to take the full and storied route to the empty tomb. No lame movie moments here at SOTH!

God’s Peace!
Pastor Adam

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