Filmic Biblical Thoughts – Daily Reflections Drawing On Some Recent Movies

1. Hacksaw Ridge – Prayer and action
Desmond Doss is a medic who refuses to carry a gun. Many of his company are injured and pinned down whilst fighting at Okinawa so, continually praying for God’s help; he refuses to give up, using every ounce of energy to rescue the wounded men.
Matthew 22 vv 36-39

2. Hidden Figures – Creative perseverance
Virginia, 1961. Mary Jackson longs to be an engineer at NASA, working on the space programme, but to do this she must be the first non-white person to train at Hampton High School. So, like the persistent widow in Jesus’s story, she refuses to give in no matter how difficult things appear to be. And taking her case to the court, she creatively banters with the judge for some justice.
Luke 18 vv 1-8

3. La La Land – The need for love
Sebastian is desperate to make it in Hollywood, but wonders if it’s a dream he can’t make come true. However, when he sings with Mia, they sing of something else, of the need to be loved, for someone who says, ‘I’ll be there and you’ll be all right.’ Jesus said, ‘I call you my friends. And I will always be with you.’ He well knew the need we have for purpose, value and to be accepted and loved.
1 John 3 v 1, John 15 v 15, Matthew 28 v 20

4. Goodbye Christopher Robin – Caring fathers
When Christopher’s nanny and mother go away for a few days suddenly he and his dad, Alan, begin the best of times together. They spend time walking, playing, talking. Out of this time, Winnie the Pooh is born. The writers of the Bible describe the creator God as a caring father, deeply interested and concerned about us, his children.
1 John 3 v 1, Psalm 103 v 13

5. Passengers – Loneliness
When Jim wakes up 90 years too early on a passenger ship to a distant planet, loneliness soon grips him. The other 5000 passengers are asleep. What can he do? He lasts a year alone, and is despairing; he longs for company and another passenger, Aurora, wakes. Mother Theresa once described loneliness as a kind of epidemic. People in the Bible often struggled and felt lonely, crying out to God for strength and comfort.
Psalm 102 vv 1-7

6. Dunkirk – Unsung heroes
When more than 400, 000 men found themselves stranded on the beach at Dunkirk in 1940, the hope was that perhaps a tenth of that number might be rescued. In the end more than 300,000 made it home. Largely due to the extraordinary, ordinary folks who boarded their small boats and took to the sea to risk their lives and pull of the incredible rescue operation. The Bible often contains lists of folks we do not know, but these lists are there to remind us that no one is unknown to God, and we all play our small, vital part here on earth.
Romans 15 v 13, Nehemiah chapter 3

7. Brooklyn – Trusting Love
When Eilis goes to Brooklyn looking for work and a future she meets Tony. Both are shy, cautious people, but little by little they begin a relationship. We are invited into a relationship with the Creator, but it can feel like a risk, we make ourselves vulnerable, but like Tony and Eilis we are invited to take it one step a time.
Romans 5 vv 5-8, Jeremiah 31 v 3, Matthew 7 vv 7-11

8. Cinderella Man – Compassion and Discipline
When Jim’s son steals some food, Jim wastes no time in making him return it. He tells the boy that stealing is never right. When the boy starts to cry, admitting he stole the food because he’s scared, Jim immediately scoops him up into his arms, promising that he will never reject him or send him away. In the book of Proverbs we are told that God’s guidance and instruction is that of a kind and generous father, who deeply loves us, his children.
Proverbs 3 v 12

9. Murder on the Orient Express – A Trail of Clues
Faith is sometimes seen as something one person has but another does not. But Jesus invited us on a kind of mystery hunt. ‘Keep looking, asking and seeking,’ he says. Hercules Poirot does not solve the crime by sitting and waiting for the answer to come to him. He goes looking. Whether or not we call ourselves Christians, there is always more to find out and experience of God. ‘If you seek me you will find me, if you search for me with all your heart.’ We are invited to use not only our little grey cells, but our minds, our strength, our wills and souls, to discover the source of life’s mystery.
Jeremiah 29 v 13, Deuteronomy 4 v 29, Luke 11 v 9

10. Sing Street – Whole Hearted
When Conor falls for Refina he starts a band, simply so that she can be in the videos. She jumps in the sea during filming, instead of merely pretending, and when asked why, she tells him, ‘You can never do anything by half, do you understand that?’ Jesus urged us to jump fully in with God, loving him with every ounce of our energy and commitment, passion and will. An ongoing challenge, if like me, you’d rather be a little reticent.
Mark 12 vv 28-29, Matthew 22 v 27

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