Waylon’s Take on “A.D.:The Bible Continues”

I asked my husband Waylon (my resident theologian) to share his views on NBC’s Sunday night series “A.D.:The Bible Continues.” 

WAYLON'S TAKEYou may be aware that NBC is showing the sequel to Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s series  “The Bible” from a couple of years ago. I’ve watched the depiction of the resurrection, the ascension, and the work of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts with great excitement. I’ve had many people who wanted to know my reaction to the series. Here’s my take on what I’ve seen to this point.

First, the series contains many story lines which are not corroborated by Scripture. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Burnett and Downey are using contemporary history to help portray what was going on in Jerusalem.

The most glaring difference between Scripture and “A.D.:The Bible Continues” is the depiction of the Roman reaction to the resurrection. We simply don’t know how the Romans reacted to the news that Jesus had been raised. Nor do we know that they reacted at all. What we do know is that the depiction of the Romans is entirely and completely consistent with what we know in history. We don’t know that they executed the Roman and Jewish guards who could give evidence of the resurrection, but we do know they routinely did this kind of thing in history. If a Roman soldier lost a prisoner by escape or by other means, the Roman soldier would be executed with extreme cruelty. Even if the soldier could not have helped the circumstances, the Romans would execute the soldier. “A D: The Bible Continues” makes the Roman reaction a major story line. That is consistent with what we know, but we, of course, don’t know that actually happened.

Second, I loved the depiction of the resurrection. Remember, there were no witnesses to the resurrection itself. Unless the Roman and Jewish guards were witnesses, we have no witnesses in history. “A D: the Bible Continues” gives an entirely plausible picture. The picture is of God’s unapproachable light. I watched it a second time and gloried in the resurrection of our Lord.

Third, the resurrection appearances lacked some punch. I believe the best actors and producers cannot depict what the resurrection means in history or in our hearts. I salute the producers for giving it their best shot. No producer or actor can ever capture the power of God’s Word. They can only make an honest attempt to let us see what they are seeing. May God use this and other attempts to draw you closer to Him.

Waylon blogs daily at waylonbailey.com. Check him out.

Chivalry is NOT Dead

1“Welcome aboard, ladies and gentlemen!” said the enthusiastic flight attendant to those of us coming down the jetway in St. Louis.

A few minutes later she announced, “We only have fifty passengers on board tonight in this big old jet, so spread out, get comfortable, and enjoy your flight!”

A few more minutes later and obviously a bit miffed, she said rather sarcastically, “I don’t understand why all you people want to huddle up in the front of the plane when each of you could have your own row.  There are PLENTY OF EMPTY SEATS in the rear of this aircraft!”

As far as I could tell everyone had about the same reaction as I did—total disregard for her remarks.

I’m not sure what the other passengers were thinking, but I can tell you where my mind went.  I was wondering if she had ever been returning from a trip, tired, and ready to get home—surely that’s not too far-fetched for a flight attendant, is it????? My intention was to sit where I could be one of the first ones off the plane.

After dropping us New Orleans folks off, the aircraft was headed to D.C.  Those continuing passengers didn’t care if they sat in the back because they could change seats after we deplaned.

2However, my flight was going to touch down in New Orleans at 10 PM which meant I wouldn’t arrive home until 11:30.  I had packed carefully with only carry-on luggage so I wouldn’t have to deal with baggage claim.  I had prayed all day (well, prayed may not be the right word but the thought did cross my mind) for a nice gentleman to be behind me in line as we boarded, who, as I started to lift my suitcase—which had my cowboy boots among other things in it—in the overhead bin, would say in the most chivalrous voice, “Ma’am, may I help you with your luggage?”

And I would respond with my biggest smile and sweetest Southern drawl, “Oh, thank you so much.  How kind of you.”

Amazingly, my prayer/hope was answered.  I exclaimed to myself, “Chivalry is not dead!”

Thankfully, I settled into my fourth row aisle seat and had an uneventful flight back to the Big Easy.  I was thankful that the Lord had given me the opportunity to speak at the State Ministers’ Wives Retreat in Springfield, Illinois on Friday and Saturday.  It was a lot of fun and very rewarding to think that the Lord would use me to help another minister’s wife like myself.  But I was tired.

We all get tired.  Even good things—fun things—spiritual things—can make us tired.

3In Galatians 6:8 Paul warned the people of Galatia that the law of the harvest—reaping what we plant; reaping after we plant; and reaping more than we plant—works in all parts of life.  “Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”

Then the apostle reminded the believers that there’s a real danger in getting tired spiritually and giving up before we reap the spiritual harvest for our work.   So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith” (vv. 9-10).

Are you tired–spiritually?  Are you thinking about quitting?  Please don’t!  If you do you’ll miss the blessing that only comes when we’ve completed the work the Lord has sent us to do.

Dear Father, it’s so easy to get tired.  In fact it’s easy to stay in a perpetual state of fatigue.  But we know that You did not intend for our lives to get so cluttered with activity that we would be overwhelmed and want to give up. Help us to discern what is “good” and what is not so we can invest our lives in people and activities that really count and will produce a harvest.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.