We decided to go see "The Nativity Story". What a great movie! We had heard good things about it, but we really didn't know what to expect. A couple of the things we enjoyed about it were:
- The actors weren't white people. (Jesus was from the Middle East, not the Midwest)
- We felt like it opened our eyes to the young-ness of mary and joseph, these were really just two young people that had been given a huge task by God. Often when we think of who should get the big jobs for God, we think of the pastors and evangelists who are in their 50's, because they've got wisdom and "experience." This just reminded us that God can use each of us in remarkable ways, regardless of our age.
- We were also reminded of the shame this couple must have endured. Teen pregnancy is still looked down on with disappointment today, but in those days the punishment and the disgrace that it brought to your family was enormous. How would we have treated Mary if we lived down the block from her back then?
- We also were struck by the fact that Joseph was now becoming a dad to a child that was not really his own. He couldn't necessarily say- "He's got my eyes," or "He's going to be tall like my side of the family." This baby was going to be different than all other babies. Being this baby's dad meant that Joseph's entire life was going to change, including fleeing his own country/town/family to move to Egypt as he protected his son.
- One of the other things that was portrayed well and we had really noticed when we were in Israel was the madness of King Herod. North Korea's Kim Jong Il is not the "craziest" ruler to ever live. What kind of a man would kill all the babies in an entire city out of fear that one of them would one day become king? When we were in Israel we saw the remains of some of the palaces that Herod had built (and may have never even spent a night in) and they were phenomenal even by today's standards. A good reminder that evil rulers can use all of their power to try to stop God's will from happening, but they will never succeed.
- Their encounter with God turned their life upside down. They didn't have the luxury of choosing when they wanted to start a family, where they wanted to live, or what other people thought of them. They completely left their comfort zone, armed with the authority of God's word and the trustworthiness of His promises.
- Lastly, they were a family (you should have expected this from us). He didn't have them go at it on their own, he brought together one man and one woman and made them a central part of bringing hope to the entire world. God uses families to change the world.
So yes, we recommend seeing this movie...Better yet- read the book! You can find the story told from 3 different perspectives in Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-3, and John 1:1-18, or by clicking here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%201-2;&version=51; It would take about 10 minutes to read, and it just might change your life.