Today I spent seven hours watching the Gospel. No, you read that right… watching. Who needs to read the book when you’ve got the movie, right?
Oh. Right. I guess so. Good point.
In preparation for Sunday’s church service I edited together a Christmas-themed video to play during a vocal special. The song is Todd Agnew’s “God With Us” and it speaks of the visit of the Magi, a topic that just happens to be on tap for this Sunday’s Advent observance. The song is wonderful and powerful. The images even more so. But not really because of anything I’ve done as the editor. The Gospel story makes the images, and the song makes the video.
The video is a fusion of two movies — The Nativity and The Passion of the Christ, both powerful modern films from veteran Hollywood filmmakers. The quality of the films is first-rate. The dialogue is not stoic and by-the-book. The emotions are realistic. The people look semi-Jewish. Basically, I think these two films come the closest to portraying how things looked and felt in the Bible. For comparison, I popped in The Visual Bible’s Matthew volume. I couldn’t watch for more than 30 seconds before I ejected the disc. It just doesn’t compare.
Having realistic images makes for a powerful video. So does having a great song. “God With Us” is a great song.
As for the Gospel story, seeing Mary and Joseph, the magi and the shepherds, the disciples and our savior just makes the whole Gospel come alive to my imagination. I’m captivated by the whole story over again. Angels and shepherds, magi from the east traveling far because of a moving star and a prophecy… Amazing. That the baby would become a man — a man of trade as all Jewish men were — and that man would become a preacher and have followers and enter Jerusalem as a king yet leave it carrying a cross… the simple Gospel truths left me speechless today. I know the old, old story. Heard it long ago. But seeing it once again… hearing it once again…
Everything seemed so peaceful and quiet the night Jesus was born and yet so violent and loud when he died. God was with us, to be sure. Dwelling among us. Talking to us. Dying for us. Raised to give us life.
Here’s the video with Todd Agnew’s version of his song and my editing of both movies. I wanted to share it with you because it so deeply impacted me today. Enjoy the Gospel… in Technicolor.