Again For The First Time

By: Brian Robertson

One of the biggest problems in either trying to be a Christian or trying to approach Christianity without any sort of background in it at all is that Jesus’ teachings have so permeated our world that we are apt to dismiss the familiar aspects of his words or stories. We hear them now through filters worn down from having read or heard the stories again and again and again or through constant reciting of this or that creed or abandonment of personal experience to this or that particular group’s beliefs.

The challenge, absolutely essential, is to be able to hear again for the first time. To take the words as freshly delivered to our ears, yes, but to then be able to move beyond the literal meaning to the metaphysical and the profoundly spiritual or allegorical or metaphorical that lie beyond every word and phrase. At that point, the thread we have been following dissolves, we are in a place words can no longer take us.

How do we do it? I think it takes a certain state of mind, perhaps being able to read slowly over a verse and spend thirty minutes with it, letting ourselves see beyond to that which is wordless. This is the approach behind Lectio Divina. Sometimes, however, we might get lucky and hear those words in a different setting that makes them seem suddenly new, that much fresher.

For example, the amazing film Jesus of Nazareth by Franco Zeffirelli gives us several such opportunities. I wanted to share one such moment with you, at least what is a moment of absolute connection and, for me, a stunning freshness. I admit there are parts in the movie which I can’t watch without tears, but surprises me is that they generally are not the large crowd teaching scenes, beautiful as they are, but the smaller, more intimate moments when one simply cannot look away from the force and person behind the stirring words. An example of all this is what I have posted below which is, I think, just about my most favorite moment in the film. At least top 3. I hope you enjoy it, uninterrupted as a gift, and if you can get through the whole thing without tearing up at Peter’s words which are the words of each of us that come at the end of it, then you’re a bit more jaded than I!





[Absolutely moving. You are so right about the impact of the Word on todays world. God once told me that we have made the Word cliche’. That we have taken the power out of it by our misuse. Great post]