THE NEVERENDING STORY

 

I have to wonder if Michael Ende was familiar with the Bible before writing The NeverEnding Story.   I haven’t read the book, but I have watched the movie more than a few times, long ago when my son and I were much younger.  Of course, you have seen it too, haven’t you?  If not, then don’t admit it.  Regardless of how old you are now, just go out and rent it, buy it, borrow it or steal it, if need be.  On second thought, seeing as this is a Christmas letter, maybe I shouldn’t have said steal it.  Maybe.

So, what similarities, if any, can be drawn between the two?  Because I did not read the book I will have to compare the movie version of The NeverEnding Story to the book version of the Bible.  Yes, there are theatrical versions of the Bible, but I strongly advise against placing your eternal salvation on anything that comes out of Hollywood.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning movies, I watch them all the time.  Thankfully, I am under Christ’s law and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to guide me:

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.  All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”
1 Corinthians 6:12  (NASB)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28  (NIV)

Let’s take a quick look at The NeverEnding Story.  This isn’t a review of the entire movie and I will only hit on the parts that I believe are necessary to make the point that I am trying to convey.  Stick with me and hopefully you will see what I see.

The young boy, Bastian, “borrows” and begins to read The NeverEnding Story (see, it’s okay to “borrow” it).  He learns that the land of “Fantasia” is being devoured by the ” Nothing.”  Atreyu, the young warrior, has been chosen by the Childlike Empress and sent on a quest to defeat the Nothing and save Fantasia.

At one point on his journey Atreyu, who is seeking information on how to defeat the Nothing finds Morla, the ancient one.  We learn that Morla is a giant turtle and this fact startles Bastian who lets out a scream.  And here is where the plot thickens; Atreyu and Morla hear the scream and Bastian is frightened when he realizes this.

We leave Bastian now but we will return shortly.  We have just found that The NeverEnding Story is not an ordinary book.  The reader, Bastian, interacts with the events as they unfold.  And what does this have to do with the Bible?  Good question, and I believe I have a good answer.

For many people who read the pages of the Bible there is no interaction, but for others there is.  I have read the Bible many times and I am always amazed when God reveals some truth that I have not seen in the past.  The same words can relate different wisdom at different times as we progress in our walk with the Lord.  This is because the Bible is a supernatural work:

“The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword.  It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together.  It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12  (GNT)

God also states that his Word is of value only to those who possess his Spirit:

“People who do not have God’s Spirit do not accept the things that come from his Spirit.  They think these things are foolish.  They cannot understand them, because they can only be understood with the Spirit’s help.”
1 Corinthians 2:14  (ERV)

If we skip to the end of The NeverEnding Story we find that Fantasia has been reduced to a single grain of sand.  The Childlike Empress speaks directly to Bastian and informs him that in order for Fantasia to be restored he must give her a new name.
       In the movie the name that he yells is unintelligible but it is implied that he chooses his mother’s name.  After this Fantasia is restored and the Childlike Empress tells Bastian that Fantasia will be kept alive as long as he continues to believe.
       My son speculates that there may be an ingenious answer as to why we are unable to make out the name that Bastian chooses.  Perhaps we can take this to another level where, because the name is uncertain, it is left for the viewer to choose the name that Bastian calls out… and we become part of the story.

The NeverEnding Story is an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable journey but it pales in comparison to the reality of the Bible.  Like the Childlike Empress who beckons Bastian to believe that the grain of sand can be restored to Fantasia, God asks us to trust in his Son to restore our broken relationship to him.  And the name we need to call is the name above all names, Jesus Christ.

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20  (NIV)

If the Bible has not been helpful in providing answers you seek, then the reason may be that you have never accepted God’s Spirit, which he will gladly and freely send to you when you are born again.  If you are unsure of what the Bible tells us born again is, then perhaps you will take a little time to read another of our Christmas letters,“The Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

What time could be better than Christmas to accept the free gift of eternal life? We will also be glad to help.
 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

             Bob Rani                                                  Mike & Sheri Rani

One Response to THE NEVERENDING STORY

  1. Tom Perkinton says:

    I liked reading your Christmas letter. I believe that I have the movie somewhere in the house. I will go on a exploration of my DVD collection, and attempt to find it. Bye the way my Christmas celebration for years has started with reading the Original story in Luke at Church. Then coming home to watch the 1951 version of Scrooge. Weird, but it is good for me. Have a wonderful celebration of our Lord’s birth. Also welcome next year with the hope that the world will turn back to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. If not look forward to His return.
    Your friend and brother in Christ.
    Tom

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