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I’ve only seen the trailer, and I’ve only read one review, but I can’t wait to see it. Schrader is haunted by a world that I’ve been grafted in to. I’m a Lutheran by birth, a Scandinavian by name, and Reformed by choice. I could tell you the long convoluted story about how I ended up here, but let’s just say it’s all well orchestrated chance. Now, I stand in the pulpit of First (Christian) Reformed most Sundays. Not in a clerical collar, but a suit, which is close enough.
I read somewhere that this is the film Schrader never thought he’d make, or at least the film he hoped he wouldn’t make. A return of sorts to his Dutch Reformed roots. Not in some sappy nostalgia—from the looks of it he still takes issue with a few things—but in a “blessing our demons” sort of way. I’m curious to see what unfolds. Will I recognize anyone? Will I see my own community, the people I work with, the neighbors I am called to love?
How do we continue to live in a world so full of hatred and violence? How do our religious communities intentionally and unintentionally contribute to the carnage? Why is it we talk about love, forgiveness, and grace, but never let ourselves go there? This morning I have more questions than I do insights. So here’s to good films that push us to see beyond the thin veneer of so called reality. To good stories that re-interpret the world and open our eyes to what we refuse to see. And to the prodigals—those who get kicked out so they can spend a lifetime slowly working their way back.