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Jurassic Park and an Evolution in Thinking

jurassic park SMALLERAs you no doubt know, there is a new installment of the “Jurassic Park” movie series that has been visited upon us. In recognition (not honor) of that, I’m using the original movie in my sermon this Sunday. As part of our summer Faith & Film series, we are looking at what the still-speaking God has to say in a number of blockbusters, independent comedies, and a documentary.

If you Google the word “Jurassic,” and scroll down far enough, you might discover that it actually refers to a period in history 140-190 million years ago. Some of us are old enough to remember learning that in school before the movie franchise came along and gave the word and the period a new, or at least more vivid, meaning.

It is surprising that the movies are not picketed by religious fundamentalists and condemned by at least 15 or 20 of the Republicans running for president. The very idea that the earth is that old and evolving contradicts the mindset of many people. Ironically, those are the people whose thinking doesn’t seem to evolve at all.

I haven’t written my sermon for Sunday yet–that is the next thing on my list–but I wonder if we should explore what is needed for us to evolve. Some politicians say their thinking “evolved” on marriage equality. Renowned evangelical leader Tony Campolo came out as one whose thinking has evolved on being lesbian or gay and Christian. I’m glad. I’ve always liked Tony, and my interactions with him always have been as gracious and grace-filled as possible.

I am grateful that at least MOST people seem to be capable of evolving on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues, and must acknowledge that this evolution has been more rapid than I ever thought possible when I married Bill 35 years ago.

Having said that, though, I can’t help but wonder on what other issues we need to be evolving. Are there other areas in which the thinking of the majority might be wrong? Do we have the courage to evolve before others begin to agree with us? The Bible calls those people prophets, and without them we may all end up Jurassically parked.

Blessings,

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Rev. Michael Piazza

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