Our kids have been out of town this week, and so I’ve found myself in movie theaters more often than in the last eight years. I love movies – not just popping in a video but going to a theater, gathering with a crowd of people --alone or with a friend, sitting in that darkness and letting a story overtake me. My to-do list falls away and there is nothing but the story, maybe some popcorn, and a visual feast. And when it’s over, if it’s good people might even applaud.
I’m always astounded, too, by how many people will pay a fair amount of money for the experience, not just once a year (like me) but seemingly all the time. And then, when the daylight hits and I’m back to my own daily existence, I think, my goodness – how can the church possibly compete with that?
Of course there are churches that are trying to compete with
that. Some are creating their own
We are a visual people, whose desires are highly shaped by what we see.
"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it."
We see it. We want it. We gotta have it. And if “it” is redemption by violence, as most action pictures give us, is it any wonder we are at war? And if “it” is romantic love at first sight, is it any wonder our culture settles for serial monogamy instead of lifelong faithfulness? If “it” is comedy that invites us to laugh at the expense of the weak, or the fat, or the old, is it any wonder that our sense of respect for the other is eroded?
Before I start to sound like a culture-bashing “
We think we need to see something in order to want it. We love something, therefore we treasure it. But Jesus reverses that order. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” First we treasure it, then our heart follows.
First we treasure it. We treat it with dignity. We put it in a place of honor. We pay attention to it. We protect it. And then, we discover that our hearts have followed. That it is our treasure.