Sermon for February 20th, 2022

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Matthew 2:13-15 (NT p.??)

13 Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”

Matthew 10:26-31 (NT p.??)

26 “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Faith & Film X: Dune

Three Minute Film Synopsis

Dune is based on the classic sci-fi novel of the same name by Frank Herbert. The story had a huge influence on countless science fiction enthusiasts, among them a young George Lucas (the creator of Star Wars) and also...your pastor. I first read the novel Dune when I was 14 years old. I watched the 1980s film version shortly thereafter, and I watched the television mini-series adaptation of Dune as soon as it came out in the early 2000s. So it's probably safe to say that film was guaranteed to eventually show up in our film series all the way back in 2018 when it was first announced. I'm thrilled that it's not just a good adaptation--it's a great one. Dune has been nominated for 10 academy awards this year, including best picture. So...on to the synopsis.

Dune is set in a distant future where humankind has spread out among the stars. In some ways, humans have advanced greatly, and in other ways, they seem to have reverted to a universe resembling the dark ages of medieval Europe.

The story centers on two powerful families: House Atreides, led by Duke Leto Atreides on the ocean planet of Caladan, and House Harkonnen, led by Baron Vladimir Harkonnen on the desert planet of Arrakis, also known as Dune. The Galactic Emperor (who is not seen in the film) is threatened by the rising power of House Atreides, so he commands the Atreides and the Harkonnens to switch planets. This seems at first like a gift to the Atreides, since their new planet has a monopoly on the mining and production of Spice, which is used for interstellar travel. Think of oil in the middle east and you get the idea. However, it's not a gift--it's a trap, setting up a showdown between House Atreides and House Harkonnen. The emperor quietly supports the Harkonnens and lends them troops from his imperial army. Again, if you remember the Iran Contra affair in the 1980s, or the Vietnam war, or the Cold war, or the Gulf get the idea.

In a surprise attack, the Harkonnens invade Arrakis, capturing (and eventually killing) Duke Leto and almost completely eradicating House Atreides. Almost. Duke Leto's son, Paul, and his mother, Lady Jessica, escape into the desert, where they must survive harsh conditions, attacks from giant sandworms, and evade their pursuers. Eventually, Paul and his mother come into contact with the indigenous people of Arrakis, known as the Fremen. When one of the Fremen threatens his mother, Paul is compelled to fight his opponent in a ritual dual to the death. He is victorious, and the Fremen take him in as one of their own, ending the film and setting up the film's sequel, which corresponds to the second half of the novel, and is planned for release in 2023.

Fear is the Mind Killer

If you watched the movie or read the book, you probably realize just how much I left out in that summary. Like the fact that Paul Atreides' mother, the Lady Jessica is part of a mystical order of warrior-priestess-nuns called the Bene Gesserit. Incidentally, in the Hebrew language the term B'nai Jeshurun (sounds similar, doesn't it?) means "children of Israel."

Into the Wilderness

Kwisatz Haderach

(Kefitzat Haderech) קפיצת הדרך Genesis, 24:24