Monday, November 19, 2012

James Bond and SKYFALL: we all want to make a difference

Daniel Craig in SKYFALL
Last week Rebekah and I went out for a long overdue “dinner and a movie” date. Our choice? Carrabba’s Italian Grill followed by James Bond.
I know, while millions of serious-minded history fans flocked to see the new “Lincoln” biography, we sat on the edge of our seats watching SKYFALL.
Hundreds of explosions; a series of impossible chase scenes; gunfights, knife-fights, fist-fights, backhoe-fights, traintop-fights, underwater-fights, hanging-over-precipitous-drop-fights, man-eating giant-lizard-fights; spectacular train wrecks, car-wrecks, motorcycle-wrecks and helicopter crashes; more explosions; explosions featuring remote Scottish mansions… and – of course – the good guys saving the day.
Image from the Internet
BOOMERS: Daniel Craig – IMHO – is the best post-Connery Bond to date. I noticed that he looked a lot older in this movie; maybe that’s what happens when you get beat up so often. But looking older isn’t a problem when your target audience is now between the ages of 48 and 66; Bond is most definitely a Boomer-friendly franchise.
So there we were, the movie-theater jam-packed with people born from 1946-1964, watching a story where the security of the civilized world (I use the word “civilized” with some hesitation) is dependent on the ability of someone in an aging, beat-up body to pull from every available ounce of his reserves – both mental and physical – to get the job done and to save the day.
I believe this Bond works because the audience could still identify, and because we know that – on some level – we’re all engaged in the same kind of a struggle. It’s the struggle to – in spite (and maybe because of) of our middle-aged-ness – make a positive difference in a world run amok with apathy, disillusionment, and self-interest.
007 & THE BIBLE: We talked about this a little in my small-group Sunday evening. Not Bond, but what’s up with our culture. The word “rebelliousness” was thrown around, but we discarded it in favor of ideas like apathy, me-first, and the sense that so many people are tragically unanchored. The bad-guy in the Bond movie was promoting chaos and anarchy, and those are qualities that breed freely where there is nothing firm to hold on to, no anchor, no core identity as a people.
The antidote to this, to extend yesterday’s Bible quote from Ezekiel 3, is for those of us who are anchored in something as nourishing as faith to take the next step and share the hope and the promise; to be proactive – as James Bond was – working diligently to defeat the chaos and take a stand for truth and freedom.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— (Ezekiel 3:3-5)
In other words, “I’m giving your this nourishing word for a purpose. Share it with the people you already know; not just people far away, but people you already love and understand…”
Now, and to make sure the James Bond image doesn’t completely destroy our connection with reality, I’ll conclude with this simple story.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE ABSENT THE EXPLOSIONS: A woman in my Sunday morning class shared how she responded – just a few days ago – to being “nourished by God’s word.”
Middle-aged and loving it!
“My neighbor was in a bad place,” she said. “She came over for coffee and a chat. So I opened up Romans chapter 8 and shared God’s word with her - I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord...
Take. Eat. Drink. Share. Repeat. - DEREK

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