Theme: Standing up for what is right
Bible refs: Isaiah 42 vv 1-4 and v 13; Matthew 25 vv 34-40; Romans 12 vv 9-13
Location of clip: 1hr 59 mins and 20 secs to 2 hrs 3 mins and 25 secs
Jack Sparrow is a pirate – and a cheeky one at that. When his boat is taken from him he agrees to help rescue the governor’s daughter in order to get it back.
Elizabeth has been kidnapped by Captain Barbossa and his band of ghostly pirates. Jack teams up with Will Turner. Will is secretly in love with Elizabeth and is desperate to get her back. There is much buckling of swashes and flashing of blades as the two unlikely heroes battle the pirates for lost love and hidden treasure. It’s not exactly Hamlet but it’s a lot of fun.
Well, what else would you expect from a Disney film based on a fairground ride?
Jack Sparrow is about to be hung. It’s all over for him. The charges are read and the noose hangs above him. Then suddenly Will steps out of the crowd. In a sudden rush of courage he tells Elizabeth he loves her and admits he should have done this before, then he rushes the crowd and rescues Jack, just as he is being hung. The two of them battle the soldiers and end up cornered. But Will still won’t give up. If he is to be killed then so be it. He is in the right place. Standing up for Jack and standing against the injustice of the situation. The power really shifts when Elizabeth steps beside Will. Inspired by his courage and his honesty she too puts her life on the line. She will stand with Will and Jack – on the side of right.
What will you stand up for? What inspires you? What makes you angry? What makes your blood boil? Anything? There must be some things you feel strongly about.
Jesus cared deeply for the poor, the distressed, the hungry and homeless. This is often termed a “social gospel” as if caring for people is separate from theology and faith. But James tells us in his Biblical blog that we’d better demonstrate our high-minded theology with plenty of gritty action or we’re in trouble. Faith without actions is dead, he writes. I sometimes come across writings on websites about faith being a cop out or a crutch and this is the part of the Bible (along with hundreds of other references) that I’d love to point out for those who feel that Christianity is a cop out. No it’s not – it’s electing for a life that leans towards justice and compassion. To follow a rabbi was to try and be like that rabbi. Yikes. Jesus is God in jeans and a hoodie, and the Bible says God is compassionate and caring and patient and forgiving. What a calling!
Jesus was forever standing up for the marginalised – many of those he cared for were marginalised by the church of his day. But he fought on, and he admonished us to do the same. He encouraged us not to stand by and be a spectator to injustice. He invited us to join the fray. History is littered with the testimonies of Christians who made changes because they wouldn’t sit back and let slavery, child prostitution, famine, oppression and racism continue unchallenged.
Matt Redman and LZ7 have just released their song 27M to highlight the human trafficking that goes on today, The new slave trade which is sadly very much alive and well, even in this country.
I feel so small and helpless when I read of what goes on, but I can say a prayer, I can buy a song. I can do small things. I was given a notebook which features ways to make the world better, not worse. ‘We are what we do.’ it proclaims. And it encourages giving people a smile. It’s hardly breaking the chains of oppression, but in some small way it shows others that they matter.
1. When Will stands up for Jack it inspires Elisabeth to join his cause. This can often happen. If we stand up others may join us. Have you ever experienced this?
2. It’s easier to go with the flow, so we may well always be in the minority if we stand up for what’s right. No one may ever know what we’re doing, and we may never get any thanks. It’s not easy, is it? I love Shane Claiborne’s quote – ‘Get ready because God is preparing you for something very, very small. because it’s small things that change the world.’
3. Many unsung heroes are already out there doing amazing things for people. They never get on TV and are not famous. Do you know of any?
4. These days it’s more attractive to get on TV and be in the public eye. But the rich and famous can be the unhappiest people on earth, perhaps it’s more satisfying and fulfilling to serve others?
5. Did the clip make you think about anything else?