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JANUARY REFLECTION

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

My dear father was no Bible scholar. Toward the end of his life, I remember one talk we had in which he quoted from the Bible: “Now abide charity and hope and the greatest of these is hope.” I gently pointed out to Dad that he had left “faith” out of the verse and that—by the way—the greatest was not hope, but charity, or love. But I spoke softly; I didn’t want to dampen his enthusiasm. Growing up, my father and I hadn’t talked much about spiritual things and I was pleased to be having such conversations with him now.

Bill Krusen in Peru, 1940s

I have since asked myself what might have prompted Dad to highlight “hope” in the passage from 1 Corinthians 13. I guess I should have just asked him, but I didn’t, and I’ve been left wondering if he was trying to encourage me to hang on for things I was hoping to see come to pass in my life.
 
By contrast, my mother had always taken a more direct approach. As one example, her annual birthday cards invariably contained words such as these: “You’re going to make it big one day. I just know it!”
 
Perhaps Dad had hope and Mom had faith. God knows we need both and God knows that neither is of much use without love.
 
In my field of filmmaking, we often hear the buzzwords “faith-based” or “faith-and-family-friendly” films as the sole designation for movies with spiritual themes. Nothing wrong with that, but I would argue for a more inclusive approach. Why should “faith” be the sole driver of spirituality in art? Why not “love-based” films or “hope-based” films?
 
As 2019 begins, allow me to introduce our new film, The Puzzle Factory, which I will place in the “hope-based” category. We are planning to shoot the film this year—mostly in Minnesota but with several shooting days in Mexico, too. It’s a deeply personal film and you can learn more by watching the video below.

Cris shares the motivation behind his new film, The Puzzle Factory.

As with all my past films, The Puzzle Factory appears a long shot. It fits nicely with one of my mantras: “The task before us is impossible; let’s get started!” Our goal is to raise two million dollars to produce the film. A mere pittance, right? By Hollywood standards, yes, but Messenger Films in 2019 is more like the proverbial high school football team whose players are small but slow. Ha!
 
How have we ever gotten anything done over the years, you ask? We have never had enough money in advance to do the work assigned us, yet we have finished each task (each film) to the glory of God. How has that been so?
 
One reason—and of this I have no doubt—is that we have hope. Hope conjures excitement. It defies logic; bucks reality; stares down the purely calculated response.
 
The apostle James said that faith without works is dead. If I may be permitted, I would add that faith without hope is rudderless; a display of fireworks without firepower.
 
No, Dad, the greatest is not hope, but it sure ranks near the top, and when love and faith are part of the package, well… that just about equals perfection in my book.
 
Happy New Year to one and all.

With love and prayers,

In They Were Christians (published by Baker Books), Cristóbal tells the remarkable stories of twelve individuals, well-known for their secular accomplishments, who also professed the Christian faith.

 
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Cristóbal Krusen is a filmmaker and author. He founded Messenger Films in 1988.
www.messengerfilms.com

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