“Seven Letters: Ephesus” – For When I Am Strong, Then I Am Weak
By Wesley T. Highlander, Scriptwriter
I didn’t want to write this script. I’m not a theologian. I didn’t grow up in the church. I’ve only been a Christian for a few years. I am, in every way, not qualified. So, why am I writing a Christian movie and why should anyone be interested in seeing it?
Good question. I wish I had a simple answer. However, I guess God’s not simple. He decided to put into my head that I should write scripts & use a very talented group of people I happened to have around me to produce Christian films. I argued with Him about it. I said I didn’t have the words. He said, basically, “That’s okay, I do.” So, as I’ve told a number of people, I’m not really a writer, so I just plagiarize the Bible.
“Seven Letters: Ephesus” is the first result of that effort. The movie considers Christ’s letter to the church at Ephesus from Revelation, as it would apply to a modern, individual Christian. Why choose such a short, often overlooked, section of Revelation to make a movie? Well, it seemed to me that, if the Lord took the time to appear to John in a cave on Patmos to dictate the letters to the churches, they might be important.
In the letter to Ephesus, Jesus praises the works of the church. He knows they have labored and “have not grown weary”. But, the Lord is not completely pleased with them, for they have “lost their first love”. When I contemplated how to illustrate the Lord’s words, I decided to look in the mirror. I discovered I was very good at “doing”. As a natural-born loner and an extremely self-reliant person, I’m the first to jump into a job and the last to ask for help. When I neglect to ask the Lord first, however, I run into trouble.
The movie’s main character, David, is busy doing his “Christian duty”. He’s running about helping others. Those observing his “works” often praise him. He is, on the outside, in every way a model Christian. But David’s strength is his greatest weakness. He doesn’t feel the need to go to the Lord for help, since he’s got it all together. That is, until he doesn’t.
David tends to view the people he helps as projects. When his projects start to go wrong, he doesn’t know how to handle it. That part of David comes directly from me. The way people around me should think and behave often seems so obvious to me, that I lose my patience with them. I tend to think I have all the answers, without first going to the Lord to ask His opinion. That doesn’t go well for me, or those around me.
David has to come home. He needs the “things he did at first”, that initial moment he “got it” about the love of Jesus. Unfortunately, he seems to have to crash and burn before he figures that out. I can identify. David needs his first love. So do I.