The chapter in Mark recounts the entire experience in so many ways as the disciples asked the hard question, "Why are you telling so many stories, don't you think it is time to just cut to the chase?" Can't you imagine Christ just smiling and saying, "Wait a minute, do you think this is what people really need and what about those who don't have ears to hear and eyes to see?" He went on to tell the story of the farmer planting seeds and what happens to them in this Parable of the Sower.
Eugene Peterson's Message Version ends by saying in verse 11, "And Jesus was always found telling stories, gently nudging them toward receptive insight." So here is the question of the day,. Do we gently nudge, use subtle and cautious stories so we don't blow people away? Jesus clearly had a philosophy about life, about a way to live where we were different. Yet he also carried a truth, even when at the court before His crucifixion when he told Pilate, you don't have any authority if it were not given to you by my Father. He could be both quiet, ask questions, be bold and authoritative. The reality was he was "all of the above".
For many years I have often felt "preaching in films" was not always the best use of the visual language of film if you were using the art of persuasion to bring people into real truth. In fact, I have used the term "gently nudging" people and felt this was the best approach, but I am changing for many reasons.
Today was part of this surreal change of my heart along with personal discussions with other mentors. Lynn and I attended our second session with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett at Lipscomb University this week and Mark said, "Its time we (Christians) make some noise". The faith based community has been too silent for way too long.
I felt convicted by his powerful words. Maybe I was guilty and had failed and after praying about this very important strategic issue, I wanted to apologize because I do believe Mark is right. He said, "In European television the report shared 21 Christians were beheaded recently.... While in the USA television, the report was that 21 Egyptians were beheaded recently."
Do you see the difference? Its massive and we have to begin to think differently.
This Easter Mark and Roma have a new episodic television series, A.D. which is the Book of Acts based on the BIBLE CONTINUED. This incredibly brilliant set of stories I have personally experienced and I can tell you, get ready to be blown away. After this series, they are doing BEN HUR the movie and shooting in Italy where PASSION OF THE CHRIST was created. The key is they are producing and creating with "excellence". They are not making bad content, but creative films and episodes which ARE changing the world, by making a ton of noise.
NBC is carrying this series. Do you realize this is a game changer? Networks are now open to faith based content and for years, they were never interested. CNN is doing a series In Search of Jesus this Easter and more people are beginning to open up to ask key questions about who He is and more. Why do you think this is happening? I can tell you its because people like Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are getting LOUD! Yes, they are making so much noise and its time all of us start getting louder...who believe.
VERITAS and VERITAS 300 are joining into a partnership of promotions with LIGHTWORKS which is the new production company creating this wonderful series of content, films and programs. We believe this organization is exceptional, world changing filmmakers who have the attention of networks. We are looking at Biblical projects in new ways. Our commitment to making a film about Jesus in Jim Gromer's work JESUS THE LAST SUPPER continues to be high on our priority list! This is no accident, its time to make noise and we need you to pray, to seek His face, to ask for His blessing on what we are doing.
VERITAS MISSION FILMS will have the chance to share at Village Baptist Church on Easter Sunday with Dr. Jimmy Kinnard so we need you to remember us in prayer. We have many of the VERITAS 300 who have prayer requests and we ask you continue to pray for ALL the requests. Ask the Lord to touch the churches, the staff members and the congregations where they gather. Please ask the Lord to help them through the health challenges of so many, the mourning of those who have lost close loved ones and more. Your prayers matter and we as a prayer team are just committed to the needs of our online family.
Lastly, please pray for the financing of our projects. Truly, God alone owns the cattle on a thousand hills. We are people who believe in His provision. This is the only way we desire to be financed. Since we are called by God to do what we are doing as media missionaries, we are always needing your prayerful support. God has an incredible plan for us all and join us as we get ready to become more "noisy" for Him!
I love you all more than I can say,