This afternoon I watched Charlotte’s Web with the children. It’s a wonderful film, which works on the same basis as the film “Babe” – actors voices to real animals! The ending is kind of sad, as Charlotte dies, but the “meaning” behind her death is true – it’s the life cycle. A little while after she dies her baby spiders (do baby spiders have a correct name?) hatch from their eggs, at the beginning of Spring, and the whole life cycle starts again.
There was one sentence in this film which really pricked my ears up, and I’ve been thinking about it since. One of the sheep says to the other sheep “Why do we always have to follow, let’s think for ourselves for once.” This, obviously, got me thinking about church. There are two takes on this:
A) Is the world, particularly the western world with all of it’s self centeredness, in the mess it is in because too many of the sheep (i.e. humans) have stopped following (or indeed never begun following) the shepherd (i.e. Jesus) and have been thinking for themselves (their own needs etc) too much?
B) The past 5 to 10 years have seen a new movement within the church body where people are trying to “do” church as they believe it should be done. Is the emerging-missional church (or whatever tag you use for it!) a group of sheep who have realized that following their human shepherds (i.e. church leaders) has just drawn them more and more into an institution which is largely irrelevant in society. So now these sheep are thinking for themselves and have found more meaningful and relevant ways of doing church where they are reaching communities on new levels. (I guess people within IC could turn that around and say that the EM church is full of sheep who have lost their way and need to find the shepherd (Jesus) again 🙂 😉 I, of course, don’t believe this.)
On a side note the DVD came with a free educational DVD which focuses on the story. I’ll be down the library to loan the book out, and Ben will have a good few English lessons!