Sunday, February 22, 2009

Transformer

Pastor was preaching on the Transfiguration today, looking for some modern analogy. His weren't bad, but I think Transformers are a natural. Click. Twist. Rotate. Look, it's Jesus, but completely different. I picture lots of light being inside the original package, which shoots out in individual shafts as the unveiling takes place. Special FX. I think this part of the Bible seems stranger to adults than it does to kids.

Children's Church is easy to design that week. Draw a picture of Jesus transforming. Explain it. A lot of the boys would have him shooting at the devil - well, they want to have him shooting, but they've been around church long enough that you have to handle that very carefully. This armed Jesus upsets some people, but it's not very different from all those icons of St. Michael or St. George spearing a serpent, now, is it? The boys may actually be closer to Christian tradition in this.

5 comments:

TomG said...

Another super posting - exposing those underlying puzzlements and ironies of religion and beliefs in general. I've often pondered how the Ark of the Covenant could've existed in the way it's described in the Bible (almost like an electrically-charged, hi-power generator and curse-filled cript rolled in one). And though I found the special effects, upon its being opened toward the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, well done and entertaining - I've felt (by sheer logic mostly) that none of such accounts can be taken seriously that don't have either some historical plausibility, archaeological evidence, or Faith-based reasonableness (none of which the Ark fits in its supernatural description). And I feel the same about all the FX imagery to such events as the Annunciation, Transfiguration, Assumption - all human-made ways of describing events to give them their due awe perhaps (whereas in reality God doesn't need to resort to circus-level dazzling to set His will in motion). Of a machine-gun wielding Jesus (can't help picturing the Che image here), it is interesting that we can accept the combat of good vs evil by use of arms as you described (casting out Satan by sword; slaying the dragon by spear), but not allow such a consistent weapons-based imagery for Christ's struggle with Evil. Liberation Theology was shunned by Rome in part because of its upholding of an avenging Jesus (against the historical repression and lack of economic opportunities to the poor). The Yahweh of the Old Testament is quite violent and intolerant to the point of urban decimation/annihilation. So which is right in all this? And, dare I ask, could God be schizhophrenic and egomaniacal?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

CS Lewis had a lot to say about those things, more in his short essays than in his fiction or extended non-fiction. God In The Dock, The Weight of Glory, and The World's Last Night all have things that might please you on this score.

TomG said...

Thank you AVI, I'll look into those books then. I recall what a thrill it was to read his Mere Christianity in Freshman year religion class - his ideas and style so lucid and on the mark for me. Cheers, Tom

Retriever said...

Love it! For the grownups, not just the kids. Tho, as a Sunday School teacher, always thrilled at good ideas for examples the boys can relate to. One time I had my son bring in tons of soldiers to set up assorted battles of Joshua's and explain the strategy and they were way into that. Recently, the boys were dying, fidgetting, making paper airplanes they were so bored by our showing MIriam (a doll) putting baby Moses in a basket, etc. The girls loved it. But the boys only perked up when I showed them some diagrams of Pharaoh's advanced chariot technology and fancy bows....

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Retriever, you are clearly a kindred spirit.