Thread One: I'm really looking forward to The Passion Of The Christ, a movie by Mel Gibson that portrays the last days of Christ -- the events surrounding his crucifixion. From what I've seen, the movie is to be released on Ash Wednesday. Gibson has spent a lot of time and energy making this move exactly like he wanted to make it -- largly outside of the traditional Hollywood movie-mill.
Thread Two: In LiveJournal, I monitor a handful of communities that are geared towards Jews. I first took an interest in Jewish communities in LiveJournal a few years ago, when I had a specific question about the Old Testament for which I was unable to find an answer in any of my notes or commentaries. I thought that I might have better luck finding an answer if I asked the question to people more familiar with the Jewish faith and history, so I did what any modern-day researcher would do and turned to the Internet. I never did find my answer, but I did find an interesting LiveJournal community. Additionally, someone if that community recognized my username from high school and contacted me. We renewed our friendship, which is an amazingly cool thing to have happened. I continue to watch that community and have since found a few other Jewish-related communities that I enjoy following, as well. It's been really good for me to have this exposure -- in my day-to-day "real world" life, I don't really encounter many Jews. It's especially helpful for me to get a bit of a Jewish perspective on things I'm teaching in Sunday School from time to time. So much of Christian study material focuses on how you can find Jesus all over the place in the Old Testament, if you just know where to look. Sometimes, I'm not looking for that and a Jewish perspective is most welcome.
Convergence: A few days ago, I found another Jewish community, which I started reading. Today, I discover a post where the author reprinted a newspaper story about The Passion Of The Christ and added some commentary:
Sadly it looks like we have to wait until Mardis Gras for the whole thing to come and go - although I'm planning on going with a couple of nails and cheering when they nail the [deleted] up.Wow. I've never seen anti-Christian sentiment expressed so concisely.
I know the hatred demonstrated in that post should not be viewed as the typical attitude of Jews towards Christians or towards this film. But it still hurts to see that expressed in such an obviously hateful way. The suggestion to bring nails and cheer when the crucifixion is depicted would be similar for a Christian making the suggestion of going to Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC dressed up in a Nazi uniform and handing out copies of Mien Kampf. It's simply insensitive and mean. I'm somewhat surprised and disappointed that no one has responded to that post pointing out the blatent hatred contained therin.
As long as there is hatred on both sides of the Jewish-Christian relationship, any hope of realy understanding of each other's faith is a long way off. That's what made me sad.