Its Oscar Season!
The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were released on Monday. As soon as the list was posted, I received a panicked phone call from one of my sisters. For years, she has viewed every film in every category (yes, every one) in anticipation of an Oscar Party with similarly Oscar-obsessed friends. Her phone message? “The season is shorter this year! I only have four weeks!” Her next phone call was to a friend to start scheduling trips to the theater, and an on-line search for viewing options for the more obscure nominees.
A podcast I frequent is also obsessed with Oscar. They are airing interviews with the directors of nominated films, and I glommed on to an interview with Martin Scorsese, director of “The Irishman.” (10 nominations) Though I am not always a Scorsese fan, I have to give him credit for consistency. Even his Wikipedia page agrees with me: Scorsese’s body of work explores themes such as Italian-American identity, Catholic concepts of guilt and redemption, faith, machismo, crime and tribalism. Many of his films are known for their depiction of violence, and the liberal use of profanity and rock music.
You can spot his films at a hundred paces because of the steady drumbeat of these ubiquitous Scorsese themes.
Its Epiphany Season!
If there were Oscars for consistency in biblical story telling, the Gospel writer John would win in every category. His Wikipedia page might go something like this: John’s body of work explores themes of light and dark, sight, identity, sacrifice, commitment, truth, love, and omniscience. Many of his narratives are known for their negative depiction of religious and political leadership, and his preoccupation with death.
In this Epiphany season, the season of “revealing,” John does not disappoint. Last Sunday we read about Jesus’ baptism in Matthew’s gospel. This Sunday we get a first-person account of that event from John the Baptizer himself, as narrated by John the Gospel Writer. (John 1.29-42) The text introduces us to many of the themes with which we will become familiar. This particular text is preoccupied with the Greek concept of “meno,” to abide, to stay, to remain. Jesus’ true identity is revealed—sort of. On flimsy evidence, disciples commit themselves to Jesus’ cause. The invitation to “come and see” is extended. (As it will be numerous times in the gospel.)
Throughout this season (two weeks longer than Oscar-viewing season), other gospel writers will also attempt to reveal Jesus to us. And, in the process, we will be “revealed,” as well. Are we faithful or fickle? Determined or doubting? Bold or blind? Will we invite others to “come and see,” or, by our lives, discourage their curiosity about the Christ?
Please join us Sunday for Children’s Music (9:30 a.m.), Godly Play (9:45 a.m.) and Worship (10 a.m.) Through scripture and song, meditation and meal, we will watch the story of Jesus’ life and our ministry unfold before our eyes.
For some, this is Oscar Season. (Go, “Little Women”!) For us, it is Epiphany Season.
Come and see!
Pastor JoAnn Post