December 14, 2018
"The Present" is a 2014 award-winning animated short film (directed and co-written by Jacob Frey and Markus Kranzler) which my wife Mary, an elementary school teacher, uses in her fifth grade class to teach character change.
As a teacher in a public elementary school, Mary uses the film to teach her students about character development and how to develop a story line -- specifically what causes the "character change" in film's major character.
But after hearing Mary describe the film, and then watching it, my focus went immediately to the "minor character" of the mother. And I was struck by how close this story is to the Christmas story. Take a look, watch it -- the film is only four minutes long:
Are there ways the main character could represent broken humanity? Much like the Christmas story we're about to celebrate, was the "minor character" of the mother used to deliver a "like you," present to broken humanity? What kind of "character change" happens in the film? What kind of "character change" was God desiring for humanity -- for you -- by giving us the gift of becoming, that first Christmas, someone who is only not like us, but one of us -- to show you a new and different way of living, and to invite you to your own character change?
See you Sunday (morning, and evening!)*