Resurrection House Blog: Flashbacks and Film Scores
Sometimes I like to imagine what it would be like to have a film score playing in the background of my major life events. If this sounds a little crazy, think about it, we pretty much already do.
It’s the nursery rhyme your Mum sang to you before bed, your graduating class song, and the song playing during your father/daughter dance at your wedding. Each song is like a mini film score adding more emotion and meaning in the moments of our lives. So when we hear these songs again, in a different time in our lives, we can be thrown back into that particular moment, flooded with those same emotions and feelings, sort of like a flashback.
After reading the Gospel, I had one of these film score, flashback moments. The song Feel Again by OneRepublic popped right into my mind. It’s uncanny how the lyrics of the song fit perfectly as a film score for this encounter with the resurrected Jesus.
To understand why this song fits with the story, let’s start at the beginning of the journey where two disciples of Jesus are on their way to the village Emmaus. They appear to be downtrodden over which we learn is the crucifixion of Jesus. These disciples were most likely Jewish, which means their hope of Jesus being the messiah fell apart, when he died on the cross. So as they’re walking, suddenly a man, who they don’t recognize, joins them on their journey.
Recreate the scene in your head. Imagine how the disciples are feeling. Jesus, their friend, just died. Whom they think they won’t ever see again. Their hope for him being the messiah was nixed, so now what are they supposed to do. And now in the background imagine the song Feel Again play as the film score in the moment, and these are the lyrics,
“It’s been a long time coming since I’ve seen your face
I’ve been everywhere and back trying to replace
Everything that I had ’til my feet went numb
Praying like a fool that’s been on the run”
And the scene continues, the travelers talk with the “stranger” about the miracles Jesus performed. They talk about their hope that he was the messiah, and yet they seem reluctant about the idea. Then the “stranger” begins to sort of chastise them for not listening and not believing in the words of the prophets who came before Jesus. And the film score continues,
“Heart’s still beating but it’s not working
It’s like a million dollar phone that you just can’t ring
I reached out trying to love but I feel nothing, my heart is numb”
We are in a new scene, the travelers have made it to the village. They invite the stranger to stay and eat with them. And as they sit there, the “stranger” takes the bread, blesses it, and breaks it. Here is the moment the travelers realize, who they had been walking with this entire time, “Their eyes were open, and they recognized him”. It’s like one of those flashback moments I talked about earlier, and now the film score breaks into the songs’ chorus,
“But with you, I feel again, I was a lonely soul, but that’s the old me”.
The travelers feel again. Through their witnessing of Jesus breaking the bread, they remember the teachings of Jesus, and they are changed. The changed from skeptical travelers into energetic disciples, they are ecstatic to spread the word of the resurrection of Jesus. So of course, they immediately run off to tell the other disciples of the good news.
Unlike those travelers, this is where I come up short. Our eyes are opened, we know the teaching of Jesus, but I don’t always take action. When life gets busy, complicated, and I feel like I am at the end of my rope, it’s more and more difficult to practice what Jesus preached.
Is there a moment, like the travelers had, which reminds me to keep serving and keep loving others even when I am at my lowest? It’s the same moment when the travelers’ eyes were opened, in the breaking of the bread. When we come to together for worship, we represent that very moment, during the Eucharist, at the altar, in the Breaking of the Bread.
Even if it is just for a moment, we are connected back to those early Christians. Just like them, our eyes are opened and we can be rejuvenated with the thought of Jesus and his teachings. Like the travelers, we are changed, and we are reminded to go out and follow Jesus’ commandments to love and serve others. And it does not matter how we feel called to serve, as long as we do it. Because we know about the resurrection, we are called to serve and love others, so we can reflect the love of God.
It’s the end of the gospel reading as well as the end of the film score. I imagine the disciples full of excitement, running to tell the other disciples the good news, and in the background the end of the song plays. But before I say the last line, this film score not only pertains to those travelers, but in our own lives. Perhaps it can throw us back, remind us that we are not who we once were, and that we feel again.
So as the credits begin to scroll the end of the song goes,
“I’m feeling better ever since you’ve known me, A little wiser now from what you’ve shown me, I feel again, I was a lonely soul but that’s the old me”
Below is a link to a recording of the song, enjoy!
– Alyse Viggiano