Friday, February 28, 2014
My mother is one of the least social people I know. Not a recluse or agoraphobic, but the idea of joining a church where people get into your business, participate in community activities, gossip and greet each other with a hug or a kiss, is something that my mother has never and will never be able to tolerate. So we didn't attend church growing up; but my mother has also always been a woman of strong faith and wanted us to learn the Scriptures, so early on she made sure each of us (5 children) attended Bible Study either an after school or a Vacation Bible School, or both. In fact, from about the age of 8 until just last year, I have more regularly than not, attended a Bible Study at one church or another. But please don't quiz me, cause I have a terrible memory and I've yet to attend a class where we cover The Good Book from cover to cover.
At the age of 18, I joined a Lutheran church, all by myself, didn't consult with my sisters or brother and just
casually mentioned it to my mother. I moved out on my own for the first time around 25 years of age, into Center City and joined an Episcopal Church, St. Luke and The Epiphany; made it my church home, attending services regularly, with the exception of summer, when I'd take a hiatus and come back in the fall, as if it were an academic endeavor. That is until last summer. I didn't go back to church after Labor Day as had been my practice for more years than I'm willing to say. But why? I still don't know. Too busy? Too poor? Needed a change? A crisis of faith? I'm still pondering it all.
Although seeing the movie Son of God, does shine some light on the subject. It seems to be a matter of needing more. More than what we know of God and Jesus and faith from what we learn through the Testaments, new or old. I know Jesus lived, and I know he came to make his spirit and God's love known upon the world. But I also believe, as powerful as the Gospels are, and they are the only knowledge we have of Christ's teachings, that something got lost. Something important that Jesus really came to impart got lost in translation, lost in history of power struggles and politics, lost in the Church.
Leaving aside my beliefs and thinking, director Christopher Spencer and husband and wife producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, have created a beautiful retelling of the life of Jesus as told by the Gospel of John. The movie starts with John in exile by the sea, reliving the story in his head from the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem, to Jesus recruiting Peter to become a fisher of men, to the Pharisees mistrust of this teacher who calls himself the Son of Man, to the healing of the paraplegic, Sermon on the Mount, to the degradation and death upon that cross at Golgotha. And most importantly, Jesus triumphant, risen from the dead.
#SonofGod has excellent production value; with obvious intention to depict certain scenes as if they were familiar paintings of stories from the Gospels.
|Portuguese decent Diogo Morgado as Jesus|
|Said Bey as the Disciple Matthew|
Diogo Morgado does makes for a beautiful and charismatic Jesus. However, although born in Portugal, Morgado looks a bit too much like the Anglo-Saxon, museum portrait, rock star version of Christ we've all come to know, at the same time knowing someone born in Israel would not resemble this image. Even if Fox News Megyn Kelly disagrees. Casting credit for the rest of the disciples, who do look the part.
For those who don't know, Spencer, Downey, Burnett, Diogo as Jesus, and some of the writers are the same creative team behind the ratings giant Bible TV mini-series on the History channel. Therefore, I'm sure 20th Century Fox wanted to appeal to that audience, keeping @SonofGodMovie, intentionally safe. It doesn't go too far on the miracles and magic and it doesn't take the stance of a logical explanation for all that Jesus was able to do. The movie will offend no one, except the atheists, and there's no pleasing them.
I didn't expect or want Son of God to be The Passion of Christ, yet I was hoping it would make a statement to set it apart from the typical retelling of the life of Jesus Christ.
T &T's LAMB Score: 3.5 outta 5
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