I experienced the movie “Avatar.” The James Cameron film won for 2009 Best Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday. The movie-goer is transported to a lush and rich world where the inhabitants live in harmony. With its stunning visual imagery and compelling computer generated effects, I found myself feeling, at times, that I was participating in the story. That is different from just watching a movie. This film is best viewed on the big screen in 3D. The 3D glasses of today are vastly improved over the paper viewers of the past.

This is a message movie. In his acceptance speech at the awards, Cameron said he wanted to promote the message that “Avatar asks us to see that everything is connected. If you have to go 4½ light years to another planet to appreciate the world we have right here, you know what? That’s the wonder of cinema. That’s the magic.” There are a couple of other obvious messages in the film left for the pondering.

The side story has been that some people have reported being depressed after viewing the movie. The cause of the depression seems to be that after encountering the richness of the fictional world, their personal life seems dull, discouraged and conflicted. I believe attending movies and watching TV is called “escapism” for a reason. For each of us the question really becomes: where is our hope and what can we do to better our very real world? The answer is found not by worshipping the creation, but by following the Creator. Hope comes through faithfulness to Christ, who has promised to always be with us through all things, even to the end of the ages. Our world is lush and rich and full of life. We are the ones who make it dull and discouraging and depressing. The destructiveness and conflict is in each of us, but for the believer, so is the spirit of God.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Be faithful. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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