This Sunday, May 24th, The Table will be worshipping and potluck BBQing at Cheryl and Marty’s (contact us for info/directions). With Ski to Sea in Fairhaven, this will serve us as a better place to gather this Sunday. We will begin at 5:30pm. Bring anything you want to grill for yourself, and bring a side/salad/dessert to share. This week begins the season of Pentecost. Look at Isaiah 61 if you want to prepare yourself for our devotion. Hope to see you then!
This Sunday, May 17th, you are invited to a Table worship gathering, at the Fairhaven Library basement (1117 12th St.). We begin at 5:30pm with a shared meal (bring something to share if you are able). From there, we join together in a special time of contemplative worship, concluding our study of the Resurrection and the book of Philippians, but focusing the bulk of our time on reflective worship. Invite a friend, everyone is welcome!
As we consider the resurrection this Easter season, I am reminded today of a clear prophetic scene of resurrection in the Old Testament. May you be encouraged today as you meditate upon God’s plan of breathing life into what is dead.
Ezekiel 37 – 1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commandedme, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”
Invite a friend and join us this Sunday, May 10th at the Fairhaven Library (1117 12th St.). The Table is gathering for worship, beginning at 5:30pm with a meal. Bring a main, side, salad, or dessert to share. After the meal we’ll worship together, focusing on the Resurrection of Jesus. We’ll be looking at Philippians 3:1-4:1, a key text for the Apostle Paul and his thinking on the subject. Read ahead, and come join us. Everyone is welcome!
“May the 4th be with you!” Mark your calendars. This Monday the 4th is Star Wars Day, and The Table is throwing a party. We’ll gather at cohousing (2614 Donovan) at 5:30p and eat a Star Wars potluck (Wookie Cookie, anyone?) and then at 6pm show Star Wars Episode 4 on the big screen. Hope you can come.
Bring a friend and join us, you must!
This Sunday, May 3rd, The Table is gathering for worship at the Fairhaven Library basement (1117 12th St.). Join us at 5:30pm for a shared meal. bring something to share is you are able. Then, we will continue our conversation, looking at Christ’s resurrection and the book of Philippians. This week we will examine Philippians 1:27-2:30, if you want to read ahead. Feel free to invite a friend/neighbor, and join us. Everyone is welcome!
We are now in the church season of Easter. During this season, we at The Table are practicing the spiritual disciple of feasting. Feasting may not seem like a spiritual discipline, but it is. It is the contrasting discipline of fasting. During the season of Lent, we fast from the excesses and prepare ourselves for the work of Jesus on the cross. During the season of Easter we feast, we party, focusing on the life of Jesus resurrected.
I would argue that we have a harder time feasting than fasting. I think this is because we often relate feasting with excess and drunkenness. These things are not what the spiritual discipline of feasting is about. Feasting, when focused on Jesus, celebrates life. It acknowledges the gifts of grace given to us by God, gifts of creation, of provision, of goodness. But, we often feel guilty for receiving these gifts, and therefore focus on our payments for them. And so w/ the gift of life before us, we fast. We deny the gift of grace, in our hearts, and turn our minds toward working for our gift. We do a better job of fasting, than feasting. We get distracted by our own guilt, or feelings of obligation. We get distracted from the abundant life of Jesus.
There are seasons to fully engage in the discipline of fasting. In fact, we should engage in it more. But, there are also season to fully engage in Jesus-cenetered feasting. This is the challenge, the discipline if you will, of the season of Easter. The good news is that Jesus lives; He is moving in His work of redemption; He invites us to live in Him. So how will we live as a result of this news? I call us to celebrate living, celebrate the fact that our God lives! Celebrate the moment. Celebrate the ordinary. Live with gratitude, acknowledging the gifts of grace, and embrace them. Jesus came that we would have life, abundant life (John 10:10). So live!
Join us this Sunday evening at the Fairhaven Library (1117 12th St.) for a Table worship gathering. We will begin at 5:30pm with a shared meal. Bring something to share, if you are able (main dish, side/salad, or dessert). After our meal we will sing, pray, and continue our study of Resurrection and the book of Philippians. This week we will look at Philippians 1:12-26, and ask ourselves, “What distracts us form the rich, full life in Jesus?” Invite a friend and join us. Everyone is welcome!
As we are celebrating the Easter season, with a focus on the resurrection, I got to thinking today about all the movies I love that mirror the death and resurrection of Jesus (in some way). I found the list below online. I think it is generally a good one, with a few exceptions. One movie I think is a beautiful picture of life reborn amidst sacrifice is Stranger Than Fiction (2006). Will Ferrell’s character discovers that he is a character in a writer’s (played by Emma Thompson) novel, and will soon be killed off. He knowingly makes the choice to participate in a sacrificial death, but later discover he lives. His life results in the novelist’s life holding greater purpose. Although the film does not mirror Christ 100%, i love it as a an awesome representation of a sacrificial life.
Whether you check out this movie or any of the one’s on the list below, I pray you will celebrate life this Easter season, looking for Christ’s work around you (even in movies).
Movies/Scenes Representing Resurrection (from www.textweek.com)
- John Q (2002)
- This movie depicts the plight of a father (Denzel Washington) willing to lay down his life for his son and therefore should be cross-referenced under Abraham and Issac and Cross and Resurrection in the sense of the suffering of God through the evil of Jesus death. As a social commentary, it pricks our conscience about a society with medical services for those who can afford them and death for those who cannot. As redemptive drama, it also shows the metanoia or reversal of thinking in several characters who broker the power of the HMO medical system but in the end ultimately side with the powerlessness of John Q. and his son. (Dr. Barry A. Woodbridge, Orangethorpe Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Fullerton, CA)
- The Shipping News (2001)
- The wake, during which Jack arises, is found at DVD ch 17. This entire movie is the story of rebirth for many characters, especially Quoyle, who is portrayed as the walking-dead. He finds life through confronting the “demons” of his past, and through finding community and relationship in a village in Newfoundland.
- A Beautiful Mind (2001)
- The “resurrection” of John Nash’s humanity. Being lost in the land of schizophrenia – his losing (almost) his wife and son. The recognition eventually of his essence – of his gifts. (Joanna Christian-Tipple, Catskill, NY)
- The Hurricane (1999)
- Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a champion middleweight boxer, is imprisoned for life for murders he did not commit. After exhausting every possibility for appeal, he tells his wife that he wants her to divorce him and to move on with her life, saying, “I’m dead. Forget about me.” The Hurricane uses his prison time to read, study, and eventually write a book about his life — a book that is published and becomes a best seller, but which is then soon forgotten. Years later, a Black teen from the ghetto finds a copy of the Hurricane’s life story at a used book sale, and buys it for a quarter. Moved by what he read, the young man, Lesera Martin, writes a letter to the prisoner, and begins a relationship and a process that eventually leads to the overturning of the conviction. At a pivotal moment, the Hurricane notes that it was “no accident” that Lesera had come across that book. He quotes Genesis 49 about himself, “Reuben, my firstborn . . . pre-eminent in pride . . . Unstable as water, you shall not prevail.” He then contrasts his name to that of Lesera, a form of the name Lazarus, the one raised from death. The Hurricane tells Lesera that hate had killed Reuben and buried him, forgotten, in the prison walls, but Lesera’s love had raised him and given him life once again. (Mark D. Johns, Instructor of Communication/Linguistics, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa)
- Fantasia 2000 (1999)
- Resurrection themes or “new beginnings” are visited in the segment for The Firebird Suite. (Kirk VanGilder, Campus Minister, Gallaudet University)
- Bicentennial Man (1999)
- Andrew (Robin Williams) is an android who develops the sensitivity, creativity and emotions of a human. Over a period of more than 150 years, he persues his dream of being recognized as human. His appeals are denied because, since he cannot die, he lacks the essential mortality of humanity. Finally, Andrew arranges for his body to deteriorate. He would rather die as a man than live forever as a machine. Andrew enbraces the “cross” of mortality, giving up his life in order to gain it. (FUMC, Natchitoches, LA)
- Double Jeopardy (1999)
- There’s a great resurrection/raising of Lazarus scene within this movie. Libby is locked in a casket in a New Orleans tomb by her husband. By the illumination of a cigarette lighter she realizes her condition and even sees a corpse in the coffin next to her. There’s a moment when we see light streaming through the stained glass window (cross) onto the coffin, after which she shoots the locks from the inside and then pushes the lid open and comes out. But she’s still locked in the tomb. So she takes a vase from the altar smashes the stained glass window, and escapes (through the cross!). (DVD chapter 13)
- Matty finds sees his mother whom he thought was dead. (“They told me you were dead.” “No, Sweetheart.”) (DVD chapter 15)
- The Mummy (1999)
- The return of the mummy is a kind of “Night of the Living Dead” like the raising of Lazarus. (Also a spooky story.) Compare with the resurrection of Christ.
- The Matrix (1999)
- Neo is shot dead and comes back to life toward the end of the movie. (See reviewat Hollywood Jesus.)
- At First Sight (1999)
- The movie “At First Sight” from a few years ago, on the overwhelming power of the resurrection to totally reorient someone from one kind of life to another. While it might desirable for someone who is blind to be able to see, if one is accustomed to functioning and thriving as a blind person, gaining one’s sight can be totally disorienting. It can even make one dependent and not able to function as before. Discontinuity between the past life and new life. (Allen Schoonover)
- Dogma (1999)
- Bethany is fatally shot and healed by God. (see review at Hollywood Jesus)
- Wild Wild West (1999)
- Jim West is resurrected just before he defeats “Satan”. (see review at Hollywood Jesus)
- Dark City (1998)
- John escapes from the Time Cross and battles the forces of Evil. (see review at Hollywood Jesus)
- Patch Adams (1998)
- “I used Patch Adams for my Easter sermon last year: Patch’s unwillingness to conform to expectations and the unwillingness of established authority to entertain his eccentricities; Patch’s resolve to do whatever is necessary to make the connection with patients, even if it means breaking the rules as an image for what God does in the Resurrection; and, of course, the nearly explicit image of resurrection that is evoked when Patch is questioning his own life’s mission and a butterfly (the ancient symbol of resurrection) is received as a message from God that gives him hope to carry on. A red nose on Easter Sunday isn’t too bad either!” (Jed Holdorph, St. Lawrence Episcopal Church, Libertyville, Illinois)
- Beloved (1998)
- see review at Hollywood Jesus
- The Truman Show (1998)
- What about the final scene of The Truman Show! The friend went to the basement to find Truman (The empty tomb). He was not there! He was in a boat on the water. Notice the drowning scene when he is laying on the boat with arms spread out and left for dead. Notice his gasp for air, his new life, resurrection? When he reaches the end of the set and notices the sky is only a painted canvas, Truman ascends the stairs to hear the voice of his creator. Interesting twist eh? He then goes forth into the unknown darkness of the world to live in the world! Not unlike the gift of the Paraclete? (David W. Girod, Durham, NC)
- The Mask of Zorro (1998)
- See review at Hollywood Jesus
- Titanic (1997)
- final scene in movie
- The Game (1997)
- Nicholas “dies” (is drugged) where his father died, and is “resurrected” in Mexico
- Spitfire Grill (1996)
- see review at Hollywood Jesus
- A Walk in the Clouds (1995)
- A vineyard that has existed for generations is destroyed by fire. Yet, there is hope, because the root of the original vine is still alive. From it, the vineyard is regenerated. I think this would be a great illustration for the Root of Jesse. (Kris Sallee Pleasant Plains, IL)
- Powder (1995)
- see review at Hollywood Jesus
- The Stand (1994)
- Nick Andros visits at the end of the movie. The birth of a healthy baby.
- The Secret of Roan Innish (1994)
- This movie has a powerful resurrection theme along with the theme of faith. If you haven’t seen this gorgeous movie, filmed on the Irish coast, rent it and love it. (Kristen J Ingram)
- Jesus of Montreal (1989)
- This is a film that is so rich it could illustrate any number of themes: discipleship, temptation, redemption, etc. Jesus of Montreal tells the story of an actor hired to help update a parish’s annual Passion Play. He gathers a group of actors around him and in interesting ways the actors lives mirror the stories of Jesus and his followers from the gospels. Memorable scenes for me include the gathering of the actors (Jesus calling his disciples); the actor destroying a television studio (Jesus destroys the temple); a lawyer trying to get the actor to sign a contract (temptation in the wilderness); and the dead actor’s organs being donated so that others can have life. (Rev. Maria Nightingale)
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
- Dr. Jones, Marcus, and Salah all presume Indy to be dead. They mourn him. When he turns up alive seconds later, it’s back to business as usual. (Bill Mosley, New Ulm TX)
- Dead Poet’s Society (1989)
- Keating?s disciples are questioned and pressured into signing a confession, all set into motion by a betraying Judas who tells the other students “save yourselves.” Keating?s regeneration comes in the final scene, when the disciples engage in a demonstration which affirms his impact on their lives. (“The Messianic Figure in Film: Christology Beyond the Biblical Epic,” Matthew Mc Ever, Journal of Religion and Film, 1998)
- The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
- An interesting “Raising of Lazarus” scene. Jesus goes to the tomb of Lazarus, obviously afraid. He reaches into the tomb for Lazarus, struggling (perhaps with his own death) and almost being pulled in before he pulls Lazarus out.
- RoboCop (1987)
- See review at Hollywood Jesus.
- Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock
- Spock is resurrected on the planet “Genesis”. (Chip Gorman)
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
- There is a wonderful scene in E.T. where the Elliot sees a potted flower come back to life and realizes — all of a sudden — that his friend and guide is not dead but alive. It beautifully illustrates the JOY of the resurrection. (Bruce Jones)
- Superman (1978)
- After being thrown to his death in the water by Lex Luthor, Superman is resurrected in the presence of Eve.
- One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
- The final scene’s broken window as an “empty tomb” image.
- Cool Hand Luke (1967)
- photo of Luke with 2 women is taped back together
- This film has several resurrections, starting with his “crucifixion” following the egg incident. The other, as was mentioned, was his picture being taped up and superimposed on a cross. A third was when he was ordered to dig his own grave, and kept on crawling out; he finally gave up the ghost, and the reaction of his “disciples” was very interesting. The ignored him as a “sell out,” which is what the disciples might have felt when he died that Good Friday – ‘Here we put all our marbles in this one hat, and he goes and dies on us. What a waste. Boy, were we ever stupid. This isn’t God after all – it’s just a guy, like you and me, a guy who can be killed.’ Which made his ensuing escape even more victorious. (Tim Ihssen)