I suppose some of my male readers are going to jump on my case about how I like chick flicks. If you look through all my posts, you'll find I often go to movies of that sort. I confess: I loved The Notebook. I loved Rachel Getting Married. Heck, I even enjoyed He's Just Not That Into You!
And I really liked Julie & Julia, the new movie about Julia Child (played excellently by Meryl Streep) and the New York City woman named Julie Powell who blogged her way through Child's famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
There are many things to like about this movie. Streep is fun to watch as the woman who introduced French cuisine and cooking to the American public back in the '60s. Amy Adams is perfect as the woman who, in her own words, went "from dead-end secretarial job to a 110-pound dog and a job writing in my pajamas."
It's an inspiring story. It shows what an impact each of us can have on other people simply by following our dreams and using our gifts. Granted, Julia Child was larger than life (literally!) and had opportunities most of us do not. But all she really did was wake up one day and say, "I don't like my life. I want to find out what I was created to do." She went from not knowing the first thing about cooking to being one of the world's most beloved chefs.
Aside from that, what I loved about Julie & Julia was its celebration of food and of people - two things that God has created for his glory and our good (1 Timothy 6:17).
Take food, for example. The message we hear all the time about food is how bad it is for you. We're told to cut back on calories, eat low-fat meals, reduce carbs, eat more fiber, avoid sugar, and so on. And I know, all that's true. But lost in all that advice is the goodness of food! Throughout the Bible, food is presented as a rich and wonderful gift from God. Feasting on delicious food is a wonderful thing. In Psalm 63: 5, the writer is thinking about the goodness of God and he says, "My soul will be satisfied [with God] as with the richest of foods." How can he compare God to the richest of foods if he's never tasted them?
Some of Jesus' most important teachings were delivered in the context of a meal (not the least of which, of course, was during his last supper with the disciples - a Passover meal). He told stories about feasts and banquets. His first miracle took place at a wedding feast. Jesus loved good food, and as we have the means, so should we.
The other thing presented in the film is the importance of celebrating people. I'm going to be preaching on that theme this coming Sunday. Both Julie and Julia turn again and again to their friends for strength and wisdom. They celebrate with their friends over food. They weep with them and rejoice with them (Romans 12:15).
People are God's greatest earthly gifts to us. I want to do a better job of celebrating with my friends in the years remaining to me.
Finally, Julie Powell says in the movie, and on her blog, that her life was changed by Julia Child. May we who know Jesus be just that bold in our boast that our lives have been changed by the One whose passion for us took him to the cross.