Thank you to everyone who was able to come to the big screen viewing of The Chosen Christmas Special(s) at SSCB on 19th December.

The Shepherd is a short film – only 20 minutes long – created as a Nativity Film by Dallas Jenkins, the Director of The Chosen, for his own church. Being a film director it was a high quality, professional offering and led to so many requests that he should make a ‘thing’ of it and tell the story of the Gospels that he is doing just that. So The Shepherd is now treated as being the pilot episode for a series that so far has 2 (out of a planned 7) complete series, each of 8 episodes. Oh, and the 2021 Christmas Special.

The 2021 Christmas Special is called The Messengers, with the tagline “People Must Know.” It is nearly two hours long, with the 50 minute ‘episode’ preceded by contemporary praise music and monologues by high profile Christian artists. Please do make the time to watch the music part – there are some stunning songs that really help engender a time of worship. The Messengers was released commercially in cinemas across the USA and was the Number 1 box office film for its first two days, eventually achieving 4th place in its opening week; and that was in competition with all the Hollywood releases. People want to know about Jesus and the story of our redemption through His efforts; we just need to provide a platform for that story to get out!

The Chosen aims to be free to anyone who wants to watch it, and it has currently been viewed – for free – some 326,526,506 times around the world. It is in fact the world’s largest crowdfunded media project. The Messengers itself has now been released as a free-to-view programme, but for us, even though it was still being shown commercially in the cinemas, they kindly allowed us to watch it on our big screen at church for free. If anyone does want to donate to them so they can continue to be free-to-view, just surf on over to https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen/pif

We opted to show the two episodes – The Shepherd and The Messengers – as a double bill and did not show the praise music; watching the music part is a treat in itself for anyone accessing their website. We dimmed the church lights with just our Christmas lights showing and settled down with sweets and goodies we had brought with us for our cinema outing. Afterwards there was a spontaneous round of applause for a stunning re-telling of the Nativity story from the perspective of the shepherds and then from the perspective of Joseph and Mary.

Our reaction can be fear (how many times were we reassured on our Inverleith Park Walking Nativity by the Angel, “Do not be afraid”?). But our response to the message is one of utter joy when we realise that God is indeed with us – Immanuel. We saw, too, a plausible explanation for how the Bible was written not as a storyboard mapped out from Chapter 1 and ending neatly with “The End” but as a patchwork of real life experiences, recollections, speaking out and writing down. Why? Well, because people must know. If you want to watch, follow the link: https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen/watch

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:46-47)

[from Timothy Pitt]

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