Thursday, March 10, 2016

16 Reasons I'm Excited for March 16

Hi, Anne!

I continue to pray for your complete healing.

Here's a list of reasons I'm excited to see The Young Messiah. It is not exhaustive, but it is representative of my love for your book.

Now I am aware that no two-hour movie can ever capture every single detail of such a rich novel, nor that it is meant to. Films and novels are two different media. And naturally Cyrus Nowrasteh would highlight some plot points he feels more important and cut out others, and there'll be infinite differences of opinions there among viewers. But that's all right. The early reviews have been encouraging, and I can't wait to settle into my seat in the cinema for the ride.

A lot has been said about little Adam's beautiful portrayal of the title role, but here's a few things from the book I'll be delighted to see if included in the film:

(in no particular order)
1. Little Salome discussing the theology of Omniscience with Yeshua. Oh, that little theologian who at a young age asks the right questions!

2. Cleopas's laugh, and cough. This is tricky, as it is easy for an actor to physically cough and laugh and think that that's all there is to Cleopas. But he is an incredibly nuanced character, and his laughing and coughing has meaning, and an unimaginative actor can overlook that and go over-the-top with the acting. So I'm crossing my fingers for Christian McKay, hoping he dug deep and mined the sharpness of Cleopas's mind and the sincerity of his heart.

3. A view of the Temple, as no one in our generation has seen its beauty as it was during Jesus' time.

4. I am hoping the cast sings the Psalms in Hebrew.

5. Elizabeth's powerful monologue about why John had to be sent to the Essenes, and the story of the murder of Zechariah.

6. Old Sarah taking on Roman soldiers with a tray of cakes.

7. Joseph telling Jonah's story during the Sabbath, and of Tobit.

8. A view of the town of Nazareth, and Joseph and Mary's home...your novels has enriched my imagination with geographic details of Judea during Christ's time, and I suspect the visuals from the film shall reinforce this.

9. The Jewish synagogue. As a Gentile, I don't think I'll ever see the inside of one in my lifetime.

10. The Great Lighthouse.

11. The episode of the strange dream.

12. When James confessed how he felt about Jesus, I cried.

13. Rabbi Sherebiah dancing in a Jewish wedding.

14. Jesus praying in the snow in the grove of trees, then running home.

15. The Levite singers in the Temple.

16. Jesus praying for the blind man in the Temple.

I received news that it'll be shown on March 16 here in the Philippines. Jesus came humbly to our world. He was and is King, but He came as a child at a very troubled time. He displayed humility. The Incarnation and His life shows it. He came when there was political turmoil in Judea, and to a poor family.

I hear that right now in the US there's a lot of political turmoil and social unrest. CNN reports the poverty line is rising. And the KKK has come out to support Trump. It's scary times. We have a lot of trouble here on our side of the globe, too, with a presidential elections coming up in May, and a lot of families subsisting on less than a dollar a day, and countless corrupt officials in the government. Thirty years ago my parents joined a street revolution called People Power, and a dictator was overthrown. Now that late dictator's son is running as vice-president. Jesus seems to have a knack for coming to our world during troubled times, and in 2016 He comes to us as a young Child, through the movie. I know many Filipinos need to see this film. If anything, I hope we learn to pray the way the young Yeshua did, with directness and simple words, and complete trust in God.

This is a Jesus I can relate to, because He is fully Human, and has embraced fully His humanity. This is a Jesus I can trust, because He asked God to tell Him who He was and what He was meant to do, questions mankind has invariably asked of a deity at one time or another throughout our lives. This is a Jesus who closely identified with the history of the Jewish people that even the first eight years of His life paralleled the struggles of the Hebrews in the Old Testament.

Thank you, Anne, for writing this book. I have not stopped talking about the movie to my friends and family, and to my limited number of followers on social media. Anne, may Christ the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance to look upon you and give you peace.

Love always,

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