A turning point...

Tonight my "Film and Faith" discussion group watched "The Lives of Others" together - and what a beautiful, powerful turning it point was for us all. Last year, during Lent, we began this experiment of gathering to talk about "Chocolat" which was a new way into Lent for my Yankee Puritans - and we had up to 18 people some nights.

Then we decided to deepen the "feasting" theme and watched "Babette's Feast" and "The Shawshank Redemption" with a discussion. It was a smaller crowd but about 15 stalwarts at the end put together a community feast that was freakin' incredible. Then we took a summer break, but as the days and nights got cooler we found ourselves back together watching a series of films about beauty, the power of the arts and where we see God at work in real life.

This is a long movie - over 2 hours - but we still took some time to talk about the turning points in this beautiful film of an East German Statsi officer whose conscience is awakened when he sees the corruption, greed and lust that is at the heart of his bankrupt government. I won't spoil it for those who haven't watched it yet, but let me give you a few observations from our all too brief discussion:

+ One, true believers who cannot handle paradox and the complexities of love in real life are always dangerous.

+ Two, sometimes beauty CAN save a soul - and a society - as when the secret policeman hears the anguished piano music written shortly before a composer's suicide. (This scene is when the movie turns in an important way... and it is grounded in music, beauty and acts of compassion!)

+ And three, each one of us - broken and frail as we are - can learn to stand and deliver love and compassion in the harshest times if we are encouraged to practice little acts of love many times every day. Practice in the values of Jesus, in other words, is THE key reason for having a church.

Thanks be to God for turning points...


Luke said…
I LOVED THAT MOVIE! The Lives of Others is such a wonderful yet tragic story. so cool that you're watching all these great films.

great stuff!
RJ said…
Hey bro, thanks. It is a total blast being here and doing ministry with this crew. A total blessing - even in the hard times.

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