Yesterday Deb and I went to see the film, Selma, and all I can say is that it is well deserving of whatever accolades and awards it may receive. Earlier in the day I heard a stirring account of something else which left me in tears and speechless. I thought it was a mistake to have listened to that, since I knew we were going to see Selma, that emotionally it would be too much to take in in one day. And sure enough, though the film starts with a horrific, terribly tragic scene, I sat more or less numb for the first half or more of the movie. If I hadn’t listened to the other thing (which deserves its own space) I would have been in tears surely much of this movie. At the end I felt the same as I did earlier in the day at the end of the other presentation. Deb and I sat glued in our seats when the closing credits rolled with the final music, all good, and particularly enthralled with the final singing reminiscent of the ones who lived and suffered through those days, the days of the Civil Rights movement.
The acting was superb, and from what I can tell every part of the film itself. What ends up standing out is not only the greatness in the gift of Martin Luther King, Jr., but also his weakness and at a key point, his dependence on God which was strikingly vindicated. And what also stands out are the courageous men and women who put their lives on the line so that there might be liberty and justice for all.
It is one of those rare, unforgettable movies. We need to not only remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., two days from now being a national holiday in his honor, but we need to pray and work on what that means for us as church, the body of Christ in the world. How we can take our stand against the sin of racism which remains entrenched, even if much more subtly so (with I’m afraid some notable exceptions not so subtle) in society. We must be counter-cultural across the grain of society in a good number of areas, this being one of foremost importance. In keeping with and living out the heart of the gospel.