One thing that usually happens to me, particularly when I am watching movies, or TV mini-series, I end up getting drawn into the story, and the characters who make that story round. I have typically feigned watching TV mini-series, but given the advent of Netflix, I have been sucked into a variety of dramatic mini-series; including 24, Sons of Anarchy, Reign, and currently The Walking Dead. I am just finishing up Season 4 of The Walking Dead, and to form, I have gravitated toward certain characters within the story-line. Rather, than doing a review of The Walking Dead, and its critically acclaimed merits, its outstanding casting, or its intriguing plot-line, I want to get into something else; I want to discuss the reality that hits me, personally, beyond all of the drama. I want to discuss the love of Christ.
I tend to be quite scholarly (I guess!) in my pursuit to know God; so I read a lot, and a lot of academic types of books and essays. What gets lost in this pursuit, quite frequently, are the people. What I mean is, is that everything starts becoming this kind of sacrosanct exercise where I move from one academic work to the next; and the people, the people out there, the masses, can seem to recede into the background. The problem, as I see it, is that these masses are those who are in the foreground of God’s kingdom in Christ. In other words, Jesus loves them! Can academic pursuit help to facilitate a love for the masses? Yes, but only when kept in the proper perspective. The proper perspective, once again, is that Jesus loves everyone, all the same.
How does any of the aforementioned relate to watching The Walking Dead, or any other mini-series that has an intriguing story-line? For me, and this is what I have been being impressed with, the actors I am watching on these series, as much as they draw me into their characters within the broader web of the various story-lines interwoven throughout the whole trajectory of the developing story, what really begins to stand out to me is God’s story, and how it is for the masses. These actors are real people, meaning people who are searching (even if they don’t know that) for ultimate meaning in life. They are people for whom Christ died, who Christ loves, and who Jesus wants to spend an eternity with. It is ironic, I think, that we as a society spend so much time watching movies, TV shows, and have all of these actors right in front of us, and yet as much time as we spend with them in their respective story-lines, I bet we hardly ever think about them as real life people (i.e. separate from their characters on TV or in the movies). I bet we just use them to entertain us, and never think a second thought about their relationship, or lack of relationship with God in Jesus Christ.
It is this that has been being impressed upon me (I would have to attribute this to the Holy Spirit); not only am I going to be entertained by these actors, I am going to think more deeply about them as people who God loves, who God gave his life for, along with the rest of the world. I am not going to just write them off as “Hollywood,” I am going to step back and pray for them, knowing that Jesus loves them too; and knowing Jesus wants them to find their ultimate fulfillment in him.