What are you doing next weekend? Let me encourage you to go the opening of the movie 42. It’s a great way for American Christians to examine our historical racial past.
42 is the story of Jackie Robinson primarily but also Branch Rickey. Together these men took a stand against racism. Yes it is a film about baseball but really it’s a snapshot of America’s early integration efforts. I think from a Christian perspective viewing this film is a great opportunity to observe two lessons.
The first is to take a look at our ugly past. It’s a reminder that we don’t want history to repeat itself. The second is to watch men and a woman (Jackie’s wife) display immense character in the midst of uncalled for persecution. Despite the fact that they were swimming upstream of American culture, they were able to persevere for the common good.
If you are a church leader, let me suggest that you make this a church outing. Go to the movie, then afterwards go to dinner and discuss the implications this has on our lives as followers of Christ.
On this Good Friday this powerful video reminds us of the ripple effects of Christ’s work on the cross, reconciliation between people and God and people and people.
Check this great message given by Christian rapper Propoganda
This is a re-post from my colleague Greg Strand from his blog Strands of Thought.
This four minute video, entitled “Empathy” was produced by the Cleveland Clinic and presented by the health care organization’s CEO at his annual State of the Clinic address. (In including this video, I am only highlighting the video, and not saying anything about the institution or organization.)
Though no words are spoken, the video highlights people in the hospital with captions of what each individual is thinking or feeling. It concludes with a the following question: If you could stand in someone else’s shoes… Hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Would you treat them differently?
Though this is not a distinctively Christian video, it is quite powerful. And as a Christian, it conveys powerful truths that are rooted in Christian truth, beginning with the dignity of all human beings as they are created in the imago Dei, the image of God. We are called to love and care for all human beings, especially those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:9-10).
It is important to keep two key truths before us – one from the life of the Lord Jesus, and one from an exhortation from Paul.
Jesus: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36; cf. Matt. 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; Mk. 1:41; 6:34; 8:2).
Paul: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15).
A great short video reflection on a quote from Henry Nouwen from my friends at urban entry.
Chicago was in the spotlight for gun violence when teen Hadiya Pendleton was killed not too long after participating in the presidential inauguration in January. Chicago has been experiencing a record number murders. The city has the nickname of the murder capital of the world. In fact Hadiya was one of 41 murders in that month.
One particular pastor decided to put himself out there in a 2 Chronicles 7:14 kind of way during a service. Pastor James Meeks challenged the attendees to boldly ask God to reverse the number in February – from 41 to 14 (see video below). Chicago’s February murder tally? 14! It was the lowest monthly murder number since the 1950s. So of course this leads to a variety of responses concerning this turn of events:
- Was this pure coincidence?
- Was prayer the only variable involved?
- Can’t we chalk this up to lousy weather, which traditionally causes murder rates to go down?
People will draw their own conclusions. Mine is Pastor Meeks along with thousands of others who nobody knows their name have been praying for the violence in Chicago to dissipate. And God answered those prayers through Chicago stepping up its policing efforts, providing lousy weather, and matching one public declaration.
Next time Pastor Meeks ask for 0.
Yesterday I watched what I think was the best commentary and the best coverage of the Sandy Hook shootings on the show Morning Joe. Here is Joe Scarborough’s opening commentary.