Think of what goes on when filming a movie scene and you automatically picture a director decked out with beret and baggy pants yelling through a megaphone, Lights! Camera! Action! These three words are said to be first uttered way back to 1910 by the famed director, D.W. Griffith. Fast forward a hundred years, and these words oversimplify what director’s say before cameras start rolling in our day.
The director cannot call for action until preparations have been made on the set. A lot of technical adjustments must take place in order to get the lighting ready (lights… board…bulbs…shadows). Hours and hours are spent making sure the cameras are in the right position at the right time, from early morning to late at night. And often the weather conditions can have a bearing on how soon a scene can be filmed , too.
On the day of filming, the director must make sure everything is good to go before the action takes place. Like an airplane pilot getting ready for a flight, the director checks with the cast and crew (Picture up…Everyone settle!…Cameras set!); the director of photography (Ready?…Ready!); the mixer (Sound ready?…Sound ready!); first assistant director (Ready?…Boom in…Slate in…); mixer (speed); 2nd assistant camera person (Voice slate scene…). And after a few more checks, you finally hear, Roll camera…Speed…Marker (clapper board is clapped)…ACTION!
The whole routine sort of puts me in the mind of Christmas. Christmas lights are set up. Modern day cameras–a.k.a. I-Phones and I-Pads–are set to roll to capture those happy holiday moments. Finally, the day that everyone is expecting arrives and now the ACTION can actually take place—unwrapping gifts, wishing “Merry Christmas” to loved ones, and sitting down to devour a delicious meal with family.
BUT WAIT!!! HOLD THAT CAMERA!!! Is something missing from this Norman Rockwell- kind-of-scene, perhaps??? Ah, yes! What about the one true Light that makes Christmas truly shine with love, peace, and joy? What about, “In him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men…There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man,” (John 1:4, 9)? Christmas lights may beautify the holiday but they are not as glorious and spectacular as “the star” that literally shined down from heaven over “the Bright Morning Star” (Rev. 22:160 who came to save the world (Matt. 2:9).
God, our Director, made the perfect preparations for the Light of Christmas to shine in the world. Holy men published the script, the scenery was set, the Light was announced, and now, like a camera ready to roll, ACTION! Christ our Savior was born. Act I began!
“And the Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; the grace of God was upon him…And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men,” (Luke 2:40, 52).
But the show has only begun. There are three more Acts in this drama. Act II is his Teaching Ministry. Act III is in three parts: Part 1, His Sacrificial Death; Part 2, His Resurrection to Immortality; and Part 3, His Post- Resurrection Appearances and Ascension to Heaven. Act IV is His Second Coming as King and the Establishment of God’s Eternal Kingdom.
Just think of it: We’ve been in Act III for about 2,000 years. We call this period, “The Church Age.” All this time, believers in Christ have been called out by our Director, to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. We’re among the cast of characters serving him by faith. Meanwhile, the cameras keep on rolling. The Director hasn’t called “cut” yet. We don’t know how long it will be until we enter Act IV. It may be sooner than most can imagine (Matt. 24:44).
Just as a director is pictured as calling out, Lights! Camera! ACTION! when the film is about to roll, our Director has been calling the world to follow his Son, the One born long ago. We are now preparing for the final Act. Are you as excited for this coming attraction as much as a child is excited about Christmas?
Good News to YOU!
P.S. Here’s Chris Tomlin presenting, “Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy!)” https://youtu.be/tC3SwhJsLqU