Revelations column: 'Son of God' - let's go to the movies
I can't believe it's been a decade since "Passion of the Christ" was released.
Like many church-goers across the nation, I saw the movie with a church group, in a sold-out movie theater with a bunch of Christians eager to be spiritually filled and fed.
I was a new Christ-follower then.
And I remember how excited I was to see the movie.
I also remember how inappropriate it felt to crunch popcorn and sip diet soda in the theater about three minutes after "Passion" started to roll.
Several scenes later, tears started to roll. Most of the moviegoers filed solemnly out of the theater in utter silence when it finished.
I was one of them.
I left my full popcorn and diet soda in the cup holders and exited the theater uninterested in speaking to anyone.
The violence was too real. The sacrifice was too much.
When it comes to the crucifixion of Christ, I'm often overwhelmed emotionally by visuals of his death and suffering.
I haven't been able to watch the movie since, and I likely never will again.
So when I learned a similar movie, "Son of God" was coming out this week, I initially felt some hesitation about whether I should go see it.
I received an invitation from Parkway Church to view the movie with 1,500 of their members.
Like the church group I went with 10 years ago, Parkway rented out Cinemark Theater on Wednesday and invited moviegoers to catch a prerelease of the film.
Produced by one of Hollywood's most successful hit-makers, Mark Burnett ("The Voice," "Survivor," "The Apprentice," "Shark Tank" and History Channel and cable TV's most-watched series in 2013, "The Bible") "Son of God" was made to examine the life of Jesus leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection.
Much of the film's footage was actually recorded while Burnett and his co-producer wife, Roma Downey - who also plays Mary - were filming "The Bible" series.
I watched the pair give an interview recently on Pierce Morgan's show, and I was surprised to see the effortless way in which the couple described their passion for filmmaking.
Reading the reviews of "Son of God," there are few that convey the film as anything more than campy re-telling of Jesus' life.
A story we've all heard before, right?
But what's wrong with that?
Burnett and Downey made the point that their endeavor to create a film on the life of one of the most important historical figures, well, ever, was a calculated attempt to contribute something inspiring and uplifting to the world.
So whatever hesitation I had to see the film before has been quelled by this pair's desire to use their talents (or superpowers) for good.
That's reason enough to see a movie about Jesus.
And with Burnett behind the scenes, it's sure to be a bigger hit that anyone can yet fathom.
Jennifer Preyss is the faith editor for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or on Twitter @jenniferpreyss.