How often does something ordinary or common stand out significantly later on?
That may not sound too amazing now, but I remember when the Internet was first launched to the public. It was small and incomplete. Most of the things you would search for at that time were not online. Silos of information became available. And remember, during this time, computer screens were fixed pitch font with amber or green letters on a black screens. There were no graphics initially. That was back in the 1980s. Later, WordPerfect and word-processing made computers a household name.
Soon after this time, my family began creating a monthly newsletter, but it wasn’t as easy as writing an email or posting to a blog. It was a gift we gave one another at Christmas time. We all committed to participate for the following year (1991). Most submissions were handwritten at the time. We photocopied the letters and mailed them to other family members. I still have copies of those newsletters today. It lasted one year.
For one year, the family shared monthly letters. It was the one year that we kept abreast of everyone’s activities in the family before the miracle of technology brought us all together — send, photo copy, disperse. Seemed like a lot of work that today we do by simply clicking a button.
It is incredible to look through the Family Newsletters from 1991. They are fun to read and informative. This will always be a year we can remember well because of the family’s dedication to contributing to the newsletters. Now, email, Skype, Facebook, cell phones, and the colossal social media groundswell have become the predominant media to communicate online almost effortlessly.
Still, amid the on slot of media at our fingertips I have my favorite videos, and so do you. The Bible videos are certainly among them. If I were to select my top three, assuming that were possible, today I would choose the following, but they will like change tomorrow.
So here is what I was thinking about my top three favorite Bible videos and why…
The Feeding of the 5000
There are many insights in this production. Rather than a parable, the apostles experienced this miracle with the Savior. I think of three parts I connect with in particular:
1. I love that when Jesus tells the apostles to bring him the loaves and fishes, even they look at the Lord for a moment in disbelief. I imagine them saying in their hearts “Did I just hear that right?” but the Lord continues “Divide the people in companies of 50 that they might be fed.” The apostles hesitantly walk away to fulfill the Master’s command but still are amazed at the request. How many times have you faced a challenge with no apparent way to overcome it.
2. Once the people are situated, Peter brings the meager offering of five loaves and two fishes to the Lord. Stepping to the side just feet away, Jesus appeals to heaven by simply thanking God for his bounties. This humble prayer of thanksgiving produced enough baskets of bread and fish to feed the multitude of 5000. I love that.
The apostles participate in helping to feed the 5000, handing them bread and fishes to provide them nourishment and sustenance. Though this just began the litany of miracles, it starts immediately for them and us today.
3. Walking back with confidence, happiness, satisfaction, and faith, the apostles carry the twelve full remaining baskets. Jesus walks with them, and their confidence has changed. No longer are their faces showing disbelief or concern. No questions remain unanswered. Smiles have replaced faces that once showed wonder, disbelief, and concern. They had just done the impossible with Jesus Christ, feeding a multitude of 5000 with only a few loaves and fishes—how could they not be poised, brave, and resilient?
And we can too. Though the Savior is not in our midst today, his Spirit is forever with us, guiding us, and strengthening us every day. That is certainly one reason this video is among my favorite.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Perhaps the most significant realization IMO when I watch this video is that the message is all about me and my loved ones. Similarly, when you watch, its message is about you and those important to you. Indeed, the truths laid out in this video are about us all. But even still, since I was reared on the farm, the sentiments expressed in this description bring back common memories and experiences that are truly emotional and significant to me.
1. The shepherd is an old man. Though he could likely find someone else to complete the chore of finding the lost sheep, he is dedicated to the cause and searches for the lost sheep because of his personal dedication and concern for its welfare.
2. He looks long and hard. Of the shepherd it is required to spend a great deal of time searching for the lost sheep. Blizzardly weather, hills, mountains to climb in the hot sun, and uncertainty were daily companions to his plight. It sounds much like our current situation—uncertainly, fear, concern, and despair. Yet he persisted and rejoiced when the lamb was found.
3. He hoists the animal on his shoulders and walks back to his home and friends triumphantly to celebrate with them that the sheep is recovered.
We represent the lost that are found. I think it is pertinent that the Savior uses a sheep in this example. It is not the sheep’s fault it is lost. It wandered off, separating itself from the safety of the herd. I expect the animal had good intentions and simply wanted food, water, a greener pasture, or maybe it was just following a butterfly or simply interested in the unknown and what lay wait around the next corner.
Do we ever find ourselves lost from where we should be because life doesn’t pan out the way we had expected or a confusing mishap turned us from our course? We have all made mistakes and rely on the Shepherd to save us.
Let me repeat that .. we have all made mistakes and rely on the Shepherd to save us! It is easy to see why this is one of my favorite videos.
The Prodigal Son
Selecting just three videos from the litany of great Bible videos is hard for anyone but is especially challenging for me, because I think they are all exquisite. The video quality is exceptional, the directing excellent—all are well-made, interesting, and perceptive. The insights, lessons, and emotions expressed there are literally life changing. Our personal feelings make the selections evident.
Like many of the other Church videos, a particular moment in the presentation is what really captures my attention. For me that moment in this video is when the son returns and the father cannot stand the wait any longer. He is constantly scanning the horizon in hopes that his son will return and immediately drops what he is doing and runs to greet his son when he sees the boy coming in the distance. I love that part and imagine that is just the way that our Father anticipates our homecoming.
Jesus Christ spoke in parables that His messages might be revealed in clarity to those that follow Him, but parables also cloak the meaning to those who are hard in heart.
I can’t tell you why I gravitate toward these three videos among the dozens of great Bible videos. I imagine it is how they make me feel when I watch them. I experience warmth and peace and comfort even in the midst of chaos. That is why I choose these videos as those among my favorites, and that is also one of the many reasons why I love and honor Jesus Christ, among numerous other things.
I feel the difference every day.
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.