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"Learning our Stories" Palm Sunday - April 2, 2023

Updated: May 8, 2023




I grew up watching old movies. That’s what my family did. It’s pretty much all we watched as kids. Loved it…thankful for it…all the rest…but it didn’t make elementary school banter especially easy on me. Ya know??


All the guys on the playground would be talking about Robocop or Freddy Kreuger or Gremlins…and I’d be like “How ‘bout that Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace…that guy’s a riot, huh?? Talk about comedic timing…Is it just me fellas or does Lana Turner got it goin’ on in The Postman Always Rings Twice – I’d try to kill her husband too – ya know what I’m sayin.”


But I wouldn’t change a thing…I love old movies.


We used to watch certain movies leading up to Easter and around Easter. Classic religious films. Ben Hur, The Robe, King of Kings...by today’s standards of course they’re kind of hokey and they have these weird moments. Like Edward G. Robison, who primarily played gangsters in Film Noirs, was one of Pharoah’s aids in the Ten Commandments and with that same kind of gangster-esque quality has this line that says… “Where’s your God now Moses??” Or in the Greatest Story Ever Told…John Wayne plays a Roman soldier and he says, “Truly this is the son of GAAAAD.” There’s a story that director George Stevens said, “Okay Mr. Wayne, lets do it again – but this time say it with awe.” They rolled film and John Wayne said, “Awwwww. Truly this is the son of GAAAD.”


Now if you’re my age or younger and you’re not laughing because you have NO CLUE what I’m talking about – that means I have adequately captured those awkward moments with my peers on the playground.


We watched all those films…but I remember it put me in this head space, the way Christmas movies trigger your readiness for Christmas Day – those movies triggered my readiness for Easter. I wouldn’t have been able to say this back then, but looking back now – what watching all those movies did…is help us enter the narrative….the story of Jesus’ final days.