This weekend is the Oscars. I used to host an annual Oscars party. People would vote on the top 8 categories and the winner got a homemade Oscar sculpted out of of Rce Krispie treats. ahh. This weekend I'll probably watch at home with my mom and niece, landing at Reagan airport in a few hours. ahh. My vote goes to Slumdog.
Last Sunday I talked about Slumdog Millionaire in my sermon (click to listen).
The scene where a little-poop covered Jamal pushes his way through the crowds popped into my mind when reading about the leper finding his way to Jesus in Mark 1:40. I found another blogger who thinks that's the best scene in the movie too.
Slumdog gets my vote for best picture, but I don't think the conclusion is preordained. The Academy votes how it wants, and we're often surprised. No destiny involved.
Slumdog fascinated me in the way it juxtaposed choice and destiny. The movie's suspense was based on the choices Jamal made during the game show, Who Wants to be A Millionaire. He had to choose the right answers.
Under the many choices he made, the movie had an overwhelming sense of destiny. There was a force not of Jamal's making at work, and he couldn't choose wrong. This is clear from the start of the movie when the 4 choices are given for why he does well and the final choice is "It is written." Even knowing from the beginning that it was written, I got sucked into the plot so that each choice was dramatic and I didn't know how it would end.
This idea of destiny is powerful. We like to think some larger force is at work controlling our lives. It lets us off the hook.
The idea of destiny creeps into Christianity, and I don' t like it. I've been discovering the importance of real freedom in Christian theology. Ours isn't a destiny religion. We are free creatures and our freedom extends beyond our ability to choose between mundane choices all the way to the most radical of freedoms: the freedom to serve, the freedom to rest, the freedom to accept love and forgiveness. We are free and our sense of freedom isn't just an illusion.
Yes, God loves us. Yes, our final home is with God. But that doesn't mean that the pattern of our lives is set. A host of questions pops up immediately. What about scripture passages that indicate that our lives are known before God? How does our freedom fit with God's power?
Well, not enough time right now...(hah!). I've got to get a ham in the oven and skedaddle off to the airport. But think about it - wrestle with how you can reclaim the strain of God given freedom that runs through our lives. Enjoy the Oscars. Vote Slumdog!