Film Friday Refection: Book of Eli

There is a moment towards the end of Book of Eli when Eli is asked about the nature of the Bible he is carrying. He says this, ‘It’s beat up, but it will do the job.’ He is actually not only referring to the Bible, but to himself. He is carrying the book in his memory, in his being, and he begins to recite it so it can be written down. This book is in essence alive, coursing through his veins, embedded in his DNA. Not because he’s a saint or anything like that, but because he wants to carry it like this. And it’s the case that he is beaten up, has been through many toils, snares and dangers. The Bible is itself full of troubled people who have seen their fair share of difficulties. And they have drawn strength, hope and purpose from this Living Word. This Good Book provides many camera angles on life with God, and most of them are presented by folks who are struggling, oppressed and full of questions. Many of us are like Eli, we feel a bit bashed about, yet we can carry within us this living word, not because we are saints, but because we need it. The writer of Psalm 119 assures us that, ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’ (Verse 105) Or, as The Message version tells us – ‘By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.’

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