Sometimes I realize I am a little late, sometimes a little early. Today I realize as I write this, that at least for me, I am right on time. I also realize that my timing may not be what is best for everyone. Last night, realizing I needed a shot in the arm to get into the Christmas Spirit, I went to see The Nativity Story. While the movie has been out for sometime, I really believe the movie deserves a shot in the arm during the last weekend of Christmas. I also expect the movie will get a bump in the numbers despite the release of several expected blockbusters. It certainly deserves that shot in the arm, and my personal belief is that it would make a great Christmas Eve movie.
In some ways the movie moved me more than I expected. I know of all of the controversy surrounding the movies young star, Keisha Castle-Hughes. Frankly that controversy does not bother me. I do not know when the last time I expected a dose of morality from Hollywood, and for many within the Hollywood industry to be making such a huge deal over young Castle-Hughes real pregnancy is in my opinion hypocrisy at its worst.
For me the power of the movie was the ability to reflect on what the pregnancy of Mary meant for those around her, especially Joseph. I have heard the stories for most of my life,but I never really thought of the consequences like I did until after watching the film. In many ways, especially for the religious readers, if anything movies like The Passion and now The Nativity Story show the power of film, the power to take the persons thoughts past what they had already perceived. I believe that if truth is involved in film, no matter what type of film, we can use that truth to point others towards the realities of God.
The story focuses on various aspects, including the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth, the story and search of the wise men, and King Herrod's obsession with power and much more. The real power of the movie though has to do with the developing relationship between Mary and Joseph, and of Joseph's undying love for Mary. Wee see the willingness of the two of them to follow God's will and direction as the script plays out. Oscar Isaac does a wonderful job playing Joseph, and for me, Joseph's story becomes the focus of the movie. I thought this was likely because I was a guy, but after speaking to my wife after the movie she felt the same way.
My family was also moved by the underlying theme in the movie as to the purpose of Jesus' birth and of the power and love he had for the poor. The theme of being for the oppressed and poor is strongly presented throughout the movie; it is concluded with the narration of Mary's Magnificat where we hear about the purpose of Jesus coming to redeem the poor, and to set the captives free.
For many of us, we often get caught up in the Christmas materialism that surrounds us. Sometimes we need a reminder of what Christmas was all about, and especially what it must have been like during that first Christmas. The Christmas Nativity does a wonderful job of opening our eyes to that story. We see the story like few times before, and while the action is not great, the special effects just hardly exist, the story is intact. I promise that if seeing this movie, it is likely you will see Christmas a little differently this year, and in a much better way. I can recommend it with no hesitation and hope that for those who have not seen it, you will, I know if you do, you will have a very wonderful and Merry Christmas, because you will have a better understanding of Christmas.
On a scale of 1 - 10 I give a heartfelt 8
Now for those reading the blogs today, enjoy the videos. I am including a number of others here from different formats, but I challenge you, that despite the fact that the videos are sometimes funny, sometimes based on different themes, that the truth is, none of the videos wouldn’t exist without the birth of Christ, because without the birth of Christ, we just wouldn’t have Christmas. Now enjoy the videos, and make plans to go to the movies this week.
Now before we get to the videos today, hopefully everyone will remember to pass the blogs along to your friends. The Christmas Special blogs from TVP can help a lot of people. You can show them what we are doing by Clicking Here at this Link. They can also get in the Christmas Spirit by Clicking Here and reading about The Virtual Pew and our Christmas giving options. Also be on the lookout for my story of The Best Christmas Ever, which will be posted around Christmas Day. It is a heart tugging story, and a true testament to the power of Christmas and God. I am really looking forward to retelling this story that is true, and happened to me and my family. It has been published across the world, and I will redo the story, just for The Virtual Pew.
Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are numerous postings, and you will have to go into the archives to see the 100 plus postings over the last months.
Now I also want to remind you that you can visit www.thevirtualpew.com and on the front page scroll down to the left hand side of the page where you sill see our store. Your purchases through our Amazon store provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something on the page to buy, you can click on the search engine for the store, (do not put anything in the search box at this time) and you will then be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully as you shop for Christmas you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew and/or at the very least shop our store. The items on the store page are highly recommended.
Now prior to checking out the videos for the day, here is that information, contact and contribution information regarding The Virtual Pew. Again, thanks for visiting, have a Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate. Just remember though, from The Virtual Pew, we wish you a Merry Christmas.
Contact and Giving Information
Oh Yea, here is that contact information again.
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217
Or you van give on line via Pay Pal at: http://www.furches.org/donations/index.html
To become a part of The Virtual Pew, visit, http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ To learn more about me visit http://www.furches.org/ I am also active on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/mikefurches I have another blog at http://blog.myspace.com/mikefurches To visit the Hollywood Jesus group at MySpace with membership by numerous Hollywood Jesus reviewers visit: http://groups.myspace.com/hollywoodjesus For a more in depth weekly study and conversation you an visit: http://virtualpewsermon.blogspot.com/ where you can access deeper teaching and ultimately videos for viewing and teaching. You can also subscribe to the newsletter at www.thevirtualpew.com or see the newsletter on line at http://thevirtualpewnews.blogspot.com/ You can also sign up for the free newsletter from The Virtual Pew by visiting the main page for The Virtual Pew, or you can see the newsletters online by visiting this web site: http://thevirtualpewnews.blogspot.com/ You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com For those interested in knowing more about my own story, contact me for a free e-copy of my book The Keystone Kid in pre-edit form.
Carol of the Bells by Claymation Christmas Special
Twisted Sister Christmas Preview
Captain Spaulding Christmas Commercial
Celine Dion The Christmas Song
Christina Aguilera David Letterman Merry Christmas Baby
WorldofWarCraft Crazy Christmas
Gordon Lightfoot Song for a Winters Night
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Christmas Song
Bon Jovi Please Come Home For Christmas
Elvis Presley Christmas Santa Claus
Jaci Valasquez Let It Snow
Pogues and Kiristy MaColl Fairytale of New York
Tarja Turunen White Christmas
George Winston Arrangement Carol of the Bells
Hilary Duff Santa Claus Lane
John Denver Little Drummer Boy
The Little Drummer Boy Television Special
A Little Drummer Boy, Slide Show Fan Video
Karen Carpenter John Denver
Norah Jones Don't Miss You At All
American Juniors Christmas
Jose Maria Chan Christmas Songs
Polar Express When Christmas Comes to Town
Silent Night Gackt & Ayumi