Friday, December 15, 2006
If you're looking for a telling of the nativity story that compares to the church children's plays you've seen, prepare yourself for a shock. This is a wonderful movie. It's powerful, accurate, and emotional without being "Hollywood". They did a marvelous job of being culturally and historically accurate and they did a great job of providing a balance between being too "stone age ancient" with the poor country folks and too glittery with Herod and his palaces. The best part of the experience for me was seeing and feeling the struggle and turmoil that Joseph and Mary went through. They were real people with real doubts and real challenges. The actors were amazingly believable. Not super-spiritual giants, but simple Jewish towns people trying to survive in a harsh world. I found it to be very emotional. Legal eagles will find stuff to pick at and continue the smug elitist grumbling that "It's the death and resurrection that counts not his birth." But, I'm not sure it didn't take as much sacrifice and submission to leave heaven and take the form of a poor carpenters son as it did to go to the cross 33 years later. You can't have the ending if there's not a beginning. The spirit and power of the story transcends the timeline problems and the traditional number of wise men. Two simple people struggling to obey God when they don't understand all that's happening is more meaningful and relevant than any movies that will ever come out of Hollywood. And this isn't a fantasy. If you're overwhelmed by how God could love us so much, this movie will truly touch you. If it's just about seeing another Christmas story, stick to the church children's play.