I spent the better part of this evening (at the time of this writing) watching the Academy Awards with my family. It’s not really a family tradition, but our kids are coming of age where we feel comfortable with them watching it with us and not having to change the channel due to adult content.
So Heidi thought this would be the year that we would have our kids “bond” with us around the TV as we watch the Oscars get awarded. There was the usual “off colour” jokes and typical humour, some moving acceptance speeches, and beautiful tributes to members of the Hollywood community who had passed away in the past year. This year there was the expected push back against the current American political scene and a glaring reminder of the brokenness happening in the neighbouring country to the south.
As a family, we laughed out loud, we critically acclaimed, we were awed by music and we were authentically entertained.
One Grand Story
Before one casts judgement that our family has entered into a shallow tradition of following the typical culture of our time…consider this:
Through stories, we are reminded about who we are in Christ. God decided to use one big story to reveal Himself to us in Scripture—one that ultimately includes all of us—and one that includes our experiences today. We view God’s big story within the context of Creation—Fall—Redemption—and Restoration.
I am convinced that Hollywood is really just today’s cultural expression of storytelling. Is there sin? Of course—we are human. But does Hollywood zero in on the human condition? Absolutely!
That’s why we love the movies—because they tell stories and stories remind us, bring us closer and celebrate the fact that God is revealing a grand story that we are all a part of. What is beautiful about Hollywood is that when done right, we all revel in the beauty of the art that we have witnessed and experienced because we know that art brings us closer to God’s intent in creation.
All of us can resonate with a good movie that tells an exceptional story:
- One that grips our soul
- One that embraces us at a guttural level so that we walk away from it with a deep hope
- One that truly makes us laugh out loud to the point of oblivion
- One that has us going through an entire box of Kleenex’s (mostly because we can relate to the sorrow portrayed in the film)
- One that makes us further ponder some of the non-negotiables to our ideologies
- One that has us coming back to our Christian worldview underpinnings in overwhelmingly affirmative ways
- One that reminds us of the sovereign God that we serve being ultimately in control of all things.
Basketball, ambulance rides, and song
ACS has its own version of story; a story that we’ve been telling for more than three generations, and ones that we are currently trying to share through all of our channels: Facebook, Inside Out Blog, newsletters, classroom blogs, Messengers, etc.
Within the context of the ACS story are a thousand kids and their own stories from families who have a history of stories.
To think about the amount of stories that God has woven together to build His Kingdom is really a beautiful thing:
- I think of the Comedy of Errors and the actual story being told as well as the members of the cast and their stories
- The grade 7 water filtration project happening as we speak and the stories told through this learning opportunity
- The basketball teams participating in the provincial championships and the different ways that God will use our children to reflect Him in all of life
- The elementary students sharing their learning to their parents with pride on student led conferences night and the stories that got told that night
- The preschool students going for a ride in the ambulance and the memories shared as a class
- The music that middle school students can produce as they wowed us with their Christmas concert
- The way our students reached out to a hurting Abby Senior community soon after the fatal stabbing last November
- When the Joyful Sounds choir once again blew the Honorary Members away with their beautiful voices
- Hearing from a grade 10 student speak in front of many people during POL night, only a year removed from when his parents said he would “never” speak publicly
- Whenever new art projects are hung up at the elementary campus—and we marvel at the talent of our children
- When Elementary Principal Roy Van Eerden closes the elementary chapels with his benedictory song and many moms slip out the back door with tears in their eyes telling themselves that “this is still the best school ever.”
The list is truly endless and all part of a larger story.
The main plot in the ACS story is Engaging Minds, Nurturing Hearts, Shaping God’s World. This is Our Square Inch—within the context of God’s larger story–and it’s a story worth telling, worth sharing, and worth celebrating!