Wonka, Cruella, Batman & Origin Stories

This year’s big Christmas release is out – Wonka, the story of how Willy Wonka came to be chocolate mad. It’s the latest in a line of origin stories about how various long-loved or despised characters became who they are. A couple of years back we had Cruella, the lady with the Dalmatian coat, way back in 2005 we had Batman Begins, and a year later Casino Royale landed, a film we might have called Bond Begins. It has become a thing in cinematic tales now, imagining how it all began. We are fast approaching Christmas, another origin story. And in three of the four Gospels we find this origin story coming to us. Matthew details Joseph’s side, following the ancestors of Jesus all the way back to Abraham. Luke gives us Mary’s side, going further back to Adam.

But it’s John who goes back the furthest, tracing Jesus all the way back to God. ‘In the beginning was the word, and the word was God…’ and the word has become flesh and blood and has moved into our nitty gritty lives. A tiny, vulnerable baby, softening our hearts and bringing a smile. God becoming so human and so small he can easily fit into our small, human lives. Deeply costly for God, but so, so helpful and meaningful for us. Emmanuel, the best description of Christmas – God with us. On Christmas day and New year’s Day and every day, in each moment, in our wonder and pain, in our winning and losing, in our faith and doubt and questions, with us in love and grace and truth. Emmanuel.

Matthew 1, Luke 1 & John 1

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