The movie, The Wizard of Oz, was based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and later it was named the most-viewed motion picture. It has become an icon of American popular culture, and yes, it is one of my favorites. There was even a revisioning of the story in a movie titled The Wiz, which featured an African American cast starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.
The Wizard of Oz certainly has captured the imaginations of many. But there’s an interesting side note - this movie parallels the life of the Christian, who is trying to get to the Celestial City, the New Jerusalem, that heavenly home. And just as Dorothy was searching for home, as Christians we have a longing, a yearning that seems to be somewhere over the proverbial rainbow, where skies are blue, and dreams really do come true.
Along the way, Dorothy encountered a lot of obstacles and distractions, including a bad storm, a wicked witch, helpful little people, flying monkeys, a beautiful witch, and what she at first thought was a mean old, distant wizard, who lorded over the people and kept them subservient. But in actuality, the wizard was one of us, who had a big old heart for the people.
But it is the characters that Dorothy met along the way who I find to be most interesting. They each felt that they had some deficiency and weren’t quite whole. But they also remind us of characteristics that we need to truly be Christian.
The scarecrow, if I only had a brain, was smarter than he thought. The tin man, if I only had a heart, would cry at the drop of a hat. His compassion was evident to everyone but him. The cowardly lion, if I only had de’ nerve, was the first to say “put ‘em up” if his friends were in danger. And Toto, too! Dorothy’s little ride or die dog, her constant companion to the end.
What can we learn from the Land of Oz and its colorful residents? A lot! A lot about the mystical Land of Oz and a lot about the Christian journey. Join us this Sunday as we take a Journey to Oz. We’ll pull back the curtain and find that “there’s no place like home!” You can worship in-house at 10:00am (masks optional), or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
Breakthrough Prayer Are you praying? There is something to be said for our church rallying in prayer. Also, there are prayer cards at the Welcome Center if you have personal prayer requests, and the Prayer Room is open before and after worship. And as always, if you would like personal prayer from your pastor, feel free to contact me at 314-324-8405.
In Sympathy We bow our heads in prayer for the family of our dear sister, Betsy Hamra, who has gone home to glory. Betsy never met a stranger! Her warm, bubbly, mentoring spirit will be missed. A memorial service will be held at Green Trails on Saturday, August 6. Visitation at 9:30am, memorial service at 11:00am.
Helping our Neighbors Missouri United Methodist Disaster Response is currently awaiting further instruction as to how United Methodists will be asked to contribute in the “Recovery” phase related to the St. Charles and St. Louis-area flooding event and Kentucky flooding. The MO Conference Disaster Response Coordinator will keep us informed. There will be possible service opportunities in the coming weeks. For more information about how you can help (thru serving & giving) please go to https://www.moumethodist.org/newsdetail/responding-to-st-louis-area-flooding-16586858. We thank God that our church only had a minimal amount of water to come in, and we pray for others who have been impacted by the record rainfall and the aftermath, including our sister church Union Memorial.