What Lies Behind the Curtain

by Bethany

Relevant Text: Is. 2:5 (underlined)
Full Text: Is. 1:21-4:1

Wizard | In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [1], Dorothy is swept up by a tornado and dropped in Munchkin Country. In order to return home, she must go to Emerald City and ask the Wizard for help. Along the way, she convinces a brainless Scarecrow, a heartless Tinman and a cowardly Lion, to accompany her by telling them that the Wizard can solve their problems, too. When they meet the Wizard, he grandiosely introduces himself: “I am Oz, the Great and Terrible,” and they humbly honor him [2]. Then he makes them a deal – if they’ll kill the Wicked Witch, he’ll help them. So they go away and accomplish the task. Upon their return, however, the truth is revealed. The screen crashes down and they discover that the Wizard is no wizard at all. He’s just “a little old man, with a bald head and a wrinkled face.” He admits, “I have been making believe … No one knows but you four – and myself. I have fooled everyone so long that I thought I should never be found out.”

Farce | Like the Wizard, our culture promises so much and delivers so little. Its unwritten promises are in SoHo storefronts and Times Square trinkets. Money, sex, power – these promise so much happiness, but they deliver so little joy. Thinking these things will bring contentment is making believe. The Evil One – who “disguises himself as an angel of light” [3] – has fooled everyone so long that he thinks he should never be found out.

Light | In Christ, however, the screen falls. The Wizard is a farce – nothing more than a losing enemy of God who manipulates us to accomplish his own evil means. Christ, however, has set us free through the truth. Rather than living in shadows, we set our hearts to see, know, enjoy and live in light: O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord[4]. In His light, we see all things – including the Lord – as they truly are.

Prayer | Lord, We confess that we are like Dorothy oftentimes – not only do we think our culture can solve our problems, we even evangelize others about its promises. Yet, we know what lies behind the curtain and how empty its promises are. Open our eyes to see your promises as precious beyond anything that this world offers. Give us hope – that we may walk obediently in your light. Amen.

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Footnotes

[1] L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. All quotations taken from 2006 Kindle version (public domain).  |  [2] The Wizard called each of the four into his Throne Room individually. To each, he said, “I am Oz, the Great and Terrible.” Then he asked each of them what they wanted and why he should give it to them. Dorothy said that she wanted to return home and then said he should answer her request, “Because you are strong and I am weak; because you are a Great Wizard and I am only a little girl.” The Scarecrow said that he wanted brains and thought the Wizard should give it to him, “Because you are wise and powerful, and no one else can help me.” The Tin Woodman wanted to have a heart and said that he should be granted it, “Because I ask it, and you alone can grant my request.” The Cowardly Lion wanted courage and said that he should get it, “Because of all Wizards you are the greatest, and alone have power to grant my request.” In each of these instances, the four ascribe god-like greatness to the Wizard – the Wizard that they have never met and who has never proved himself. Nonetheless, they place their blind faith in him. Foolishly, as they later discover.  |  [3] 2 Cor. 11:14 ESV  |  [4] Is. 2:5 ESV


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One Comment to “What Lies Behind the Curtain”

  1. Your end-of -the-year blogs were right on target! I loved how you weave the Wizard of Oz’s deception with how the devil can deceive the truth. You have a gift of using stories or personal experiences to make a point of a Spiritual Truth with which we all can identify. I know how many hours you spend on writing The Park Forum material each day and just want you to know how much it is appreciated by your readers. May 2012 bring more supporters into your ministry!

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