Tag: film

On-Screen Inspiration

by Dan Rupple

Black Panther

One of 2018’s biggest-box office hits was the Marvel film Black Panther. This superhero fantasy film tells the story of T’Challa, heir to the hidden, but advanced kingdom of Wakanda. T’Challa must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country’s past. Reluctant to be passive when division threatens his people, he makes a declaration:

“Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We cannot. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.”

As Christians we are implored to be peacemakers, seek unity, and reflect the character of the God who reconciles mankind to Himself.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3)

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you; so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.“(Col. 3:12-14)

On-Screen Inspiration

by Dan Rupple

Darkest Hour

 In the Academy Award®-winning film, The Darkest Hour, Nazi Germany has conquered most of Western Europe and they are turning their conquering eyes upon England. Prime Minister Winston Churchill—beset by fear, overwhelmed by darkness, feeling hopeless, and outnumbered by the enemy—is about to recant his inaugural promise to “wage war until victory is won, and never to surrender”. . .  

At the advice of the King, Churchill goes to the people, seeking their perspective. Their cry to fight on and courageously never surrender gives Churchill the encouragement he needs.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Heb. 3:13)

Churchill, renewed in his resolve, cuts off negotiations for surrender and addresses Parliament with these historic words:

We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!

What overwhelming situation do you face? Where have you lost hope? Where is the enemy casting too dark a shadow over the light?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

Chaos, Panic . . . and a Positive Message

When three young Americans foiled a terrorist attack in France on the 15:17 train to Paris on August 21, 2015, they had no idea they were part of a bigger plan. Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler had grown up together and attended a Christian school in California. As Christians, all three are convinced that their actions that day were part of God’s plan.

Their stunning heroism was chronicled in the autobiography titled The 15:17 to Paris which was recently adapted for the big screen, spreading their message of hope through film. As reported in The Guardian, “Acclaimed actor-director Clint Eastwood asked the trio to play themselves in the movie, along with others involved in the incident. As well as focusing on the onboard action, the film tells the backstories of the childhood friends who were hailed as heroes.”

A remarkable part of this story is that in the midst of the chaos, panic and terror, there is a positive message . . .

“Everyone is capable of the extraordinary, and God has a plan for each of us. I think it’s our responsibility to take that message and be responsible with it and spread it as much as we can so we don’t waste the opportunity that [God] gave us,” said Sadler.