Film Friday: San Andreas

Before watching this movie a friend said to me, ‘I’m afraid they won’t be able to show you San Andreas – there’s a fault.’ 🙂 From the opening scene of this film, when a rattling mountain causes a young driver to career off the road, you know that nothing much will be solid in this story. A series of massive quakes brings California and its buildings, bridges and population to their knees. There is carnage and crumbling everywhere, and it’s not long before a tsunami emerges and washes the Golden Gate Bridge clean away. Here are a few of the scenes of destruction.

In the Bible Psalm 46 describes mountains trembling and water surging, drawing on similar images of destruction as metaphors for the turbulence of life.  Isaiah chapter 54 describes mountains collapsing and hills shaking, yet the writer assures us that God’s loving kindness will not be removed. The writers of the Bible make no attempt to cover up the fact that our lives get shaken up in all kinds of ways. The rocks we put in place crumble, the foundations tremble, the little empires we build come crashing down. All kinds of quakes hit us as at various times. The writers do not promise that following God will spare us those difficulties. But they do promise us that God is there amidst the crisis, an ever present help in the trouble.

At one point in San Andreas one of the scientists, Lawrence Hayes, looks at the camera and asks those watching to pray for the people of California. A crisis often brings us to our knees, causing us to look up and out and beyond ourselves.  This is reflected in the Bible as well. Throughout the book of Judges, when the people hit hard times, they cry out to God and he sends them various helpers in human form. Sadly, when the crisis has passed, many of the people forget God again. However, many folks in the Bible encounter God in times of crisis and stick with him – Ruth, Esther, Moses, Noah, Joshua, Mary – and the relationship remains and continues to develop through the hard times. You may well have your own stories about this.

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