A Feast of Uncertainty - A Journey to Israel With The Urantia Book
Dear TruthBook Family and Friends,
...long before reaching Havona, these ascendant children of time have learned to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, to exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable. Long since, the battle cry of these pilgrims became: “In liaison with God, nothing—absolutely nothing—is impossible.” ~ The Urantia Book, 6:5.3
Recently, the TruthBook team attended a conference at the invitation of the Foundation in Chicago, where we were blessed to be among some of the best and brightest of the Urantia community in the areas of computer and internet technology. Among these attendees was Richard Jernigan, a Urantia Book reader since 1977, who has produced a unique and inspiring film about the Master, called A Feast of Uncertainty.
Subtitled A Journey to Israel With The Urantia Book, this video is excellent - an inspired visual meditation on the life of the Master, beautifully and lovingly filmed in the lands where Jesus walked. We are so pleased to share this wonderful documentary and its creator with you; we asked Richard to share some of his thoughts about his film with us:
What inspired you to do this project?
"I've worked professionally as a director in the film and video industry since the early 1980's, and for years I've wanted to use filmmaking to bring attention to The Urantia Book and its teachings. Around 2004 I outlined several scripts dramatizing the life of Jesus as described in The Urantia Book. After completing a script on the childhood of Jesus I began a second script on his teenage years, and realized I had little clue about the physical environment which I was writing about. So in 2005 I went to Israel and visited key places from the life of Jesus, and shot about twenty hours of footage - something of a video notebook. As I reviewed and edited that footage I realized that could be a very strong film in and of itself. Having shot the 2005 footage in standard-def video, I returned in 2009 to Israel, re-shot everything in high-def and much more thoughtfully. About 98% of A Feast of Uncertainty is from the second trip."
What was the process - did the quote come after the film, or vice-versa? How did that work?
"The quote from page 291 is so anthem-like - I've loved that for years. I wanted a title that Urantia Book readers might recognize and think "that must be from The Urantia Book" if they casually came across the film title. I also wanted a title that had a bit of provocation, even mystery - something one has to toy with and figure out. Certainly in this film there is the uncertainty of the current situation in Israel. There is also the uncertainty of determining places from events of 2000 years ago. Additionally, The Urantia Book describes how Jesus had to grapple with his human and divine nature, that he only gradually came to realize that he was the Son of God. And the filmmaking process itself, like any creative process, is wrought with uncertainty. So with all those things going on, this film for me is a feast of uncertainty."
What was the experience like?
"The Urantia Book brings us all closer to the life of Jesus. To get to breathe in and walk about these places brings one even closer to that story, you get a little more sense of the day-to-day routine Jesus and his contemporaries faced. And after walking through some of the very rough terrain, I was much humbled by how tough Jesus and his apostles must have been. Physically tough but spiritually joyful. A Feast of Uncertainty was shot in two weeks - the greatest amount of time was spent editing, and there were multiple revisions. That was a particularly rich experience, getting to deeply experience over and over these remarkable stories. It was difficult to say "It's done, time to get the film out there." One more thing, trying to pare this story down to 106 minutes was a very demanding process - what do you put in - what can you leave out? It made me realize that the early gospel writers had to make some prudent decisions to keep things short, knowing that anything they wrote would need to be hand-copied. The apostle John kind of throws up his hands at the end of his book, saying that these are just a few of the things Jesus did - if everything was written down all the books in the world couldn't hold them. The longer I read The Urantia Book, the more I think it's a very short book, just a thumbnail sketch."
"When I made the first cut of the film, prior to my 2009 trip, I wrestled whether I should even mention The Urantia Book, so that it might appeal to a larger audience. I think I've made a film that has both strong universal appeal and positively showcases The Urantia Book. I hope readers will see this is a strong evangelism tool, that it can be shown to both readers and non-readers, and that both groups can experience a deeper connection to Jesus and where he lived and taught. I have a poster of the film which I sell, and one of our German readers put it in his house as a "conversation starter." We readers are always looking for Urantia Book conversation starters, this film is definitely one of those."
Consider sharing this film with your friends, family and study groups. For a small investment, you can be an instrument of change and peace as you pass along this inspiration; further, you'll be supporting the dedicated efforts of this devoted Urantia Book reader who has done a great service for the revelation.
Many thanks to Richard for sharing his thoughts on A Feast of Uncertainty. We hope that you'll love it as much as we do!
Your TruthBook Team