mandag 13. februar 2017

Nine Lives!

- He's like the cat, he has nine lives.
- He's going to need all nine before we get him across the border!
This brief conversation took place between two of Jan Baalsrud’s helpers, and their words gave name to the movie "Nine Lives" (1957) which is about Baalsrud’s life during WW2. In 2005 “Nine Lives” (1) was voted the best Norwegian movie of all time.

I had to grow "old enough" before I was permitted to watch the movie. When I finally got to see it, it was a thriller from beginning to end. Yet it was the relatively tranquil scene when Baalsrud lay hidden in a snow cave which made the deepest impression on me. After a long time, he got serious frostbite in his toes and was forced to cut several of them off with his own knife. The dramatic ‘surgery’ is the likely reason for his survival. Gangrene will spread, and can lead to death.

Paul was aware of such danger:

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene.
2 Tim 2:16-17a
I know from experience that it's easy to end up in empty chatter. Often it can also be disrespectful, and as soon as respect disappears from a conversation, it can easily be perceived as "godless" and such chatter is good for nothing. However, the context of the verses tells me that the warning applies to the godless chatter that leads astray from the basic evangelical truths. It is this chatter that is as contagious and deadly as gangrene.

Persecution has never been a threat to the gospel and the church's existence. Paradoxically, we who profess the Christian faith constitute the greatest threat to our own mission. Paul foresaw this and tried to warn Timothy about the danger. Fortunately, neither pressures from outside forces nor from internal church conflicts, have managed to kill the real life of Christ in true believers. This was the case all the way back to the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and is still true today. Therefore, the

‘Manna’ for today is:

As long as there is life, there is hope!
(1) Nine Lives on Youtube
NB The movie was received an Oscar nomination - which is rare for Norwegian movies 

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