I love watching movies! I thoroughly enjoy seeing the stories of quirky characters overcoming obstacles unfold on the big screen before me. Film has a unique way of sucking us into an entirely different world and viewpoint; what an incredible story-telling medium!
Movies not only transport us to another reality for a few moments, but they reveal our perspective on life and the world around us. Art both shapes and reflects culture.
It’s amazing to see how drastically movies have changed over the years. While there are many consistent themes throughout the history of film, there are certain perspectives about the world that are very different than they were even a few decades ago.
When I was a kid, many of the movies about the future were full of hope. The colors were bright, the characters were excited to work together and they, of course, were able to save the world.
But when I look at today’s movies about the future, I primarily see darkness. Dystopian movies are a dime a dozen nowadays and there’s an underlying theme of hopelessness. Even the heroes that we’ve grown to know and sometimes love are much darker and despairing then previous heroes.
Today’s films are a reflection of where we are as a society.
Some things are really bad right now. People are mistreated left and right, injustice runs rampant, the earth is being destroyed, hatred is on the rise, and hurt and shame are infecting our society at alarming levels.
And it’s easy to think that the issues are just outside the church, but that’s just not true. Divorce rates have skyrocketed and abuse is running rampant within the church. People are discriminated against and told “you’re not welcome here” based on race, class, and sexual orientation on a weekly basis.
No wonder we see the future as a bleak, dystopian place full of hatred and struggle! If we keep going this way, we could very well end up there!
Tapping into our Hope and Future
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.
“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.” Jeremiah 29:7-10 (ESV)
The Lord spoke these powerful words to the Israelites when they were in captivity. Can you imagine how bleak things were in their day? They were slaves and that wasn’t about to change any time soon. Their situation wasn’t going to improve for the next 70 years, so the Lord let them know.
He wasn’t going to rescue them in their generation, but he was surely not going to let them down, so he continued his promise to them.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes…” Jeremiah 29:11-14a (ESV)
Right now, we live in a dark time, but we have a hope in Jesus that can’t be stolen, removed, revoked, or destroyed. Without God, we are hopeless, but with him, we have nothing to fear. Because we have this hope, we can point others to the One who holds the future!
Let’s seek his face and invite others to do the same this week!
To go Deeper: Read Season of Darkness