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Silent Films, Transcripts, and Talkies

In a bitter political season some said, “Don’t listen to what they say. Watch what they do.” During the same time, others reminded us that “words matter.”

Trying to make sense of two seemingly opposite thoughts, I’ve been wondering what it would be like to have nothing more than a silent film of the life of Jesus. No words. Just action and music.

Or what would it be like to know him as a teacher, philosopher or story teller—with no record of what he did—just a transcript of what he said. Just words. No action.

If we could only have one without the other, which would interest us more? Am guessing it would be the action version. Yet action without explanation would leave us with far more questions than answers.

Seems like it’s the action part that made it hard for those who wanted their own followers to believe Jesus was a deceiver. And seems like it’s the timeless relevance of his words— together with the compassionate things he did— that give us reason to want to be counted among the friends and citizens of his kingdom, so many years later.

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