Monday, December 04, 2006

The Nativity Story

On Saturday night I went to see The Nativity Story. I came out glad I had gone, but not overwhelmed by the movie itself. The movie seemed tame. Nothing controversial. Nothing too radical. Just a straightforward telling of the story. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it did seem tame.

The questions that it raised were more interesting than the movie itself.

Issue 1

Seeing the story "come to life" I was struck by the way God chose to use Mary and Joseph. In using a virgin pledged to be married He made them outcasts in their society. People assumed Mary had sinned and when Joseph chose not to divorce her, they assumed he had sinned too. They were confident of their own standing, but it was a hard road for Mary and Joseph. In choosing to be used they put themselves out there for public ridicule, false assumptions and possible death. Their lives would never be the same, for both better and worse.

Issue 2

I had never really thought much about Joseph and this movie really fleshed out his character. Watching the story unfold I was struck by his sacrifice in doing this and the steadfastness of his character. A pregnant fiance followed up by a visit from an angel. Suddenly he's an outcast in his town. Yet he managed to show such leadership and sacrifice.

Issue 3

Journey and preparation. By preparation I mean wearing the right shoes. When they left for Bethlehem, they thought that was the full journey. Then Joseph hears from God that they need to go to Egypt and off they go. Clearly we always need to be prepared with the right shoes so that we're prepared to go when we get the call.

Issue 4

Simplicity. Everything about the way Jesus came into the world was humble and simple. How do we celebrate it? With stress and chaos. Seems wrong.

Just a few of the questions and thoughts going through my mind after the movie. Did anyone else see it?

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