One of the things that I absolutely love doing with my kids – especially since they are all now grown up – is to settle down and watch a movie together. Especially Christian movies. And a few weeks ago one of my daughters flew in and has been home with me for the past few weeks. So watching movies – especially Christian movies has been one of our favourite past times during her stay. That is when she is not painting and decorating rooms in my home for me. Something which was her suggestion and definitely my blessing.
This film focuses on the lives of 12 people and how God speaks into each and every one of their lives in a unique way.
And unlike a lot of Christian movies – especially older ones – it does so in a very real and relevant way presenting them in both real-life circumstances and with excellent acting and character portrayals.
And I have to tell you that, as someone who has watched many a Christian movie, it is such a blessing to see them acted out well. But then, with a cast which includes such names as Lee Majors, Cybill Shepherd, Sean Astin, Senyo Amoaku, Ted McGinley and Mira Sorvino (among others), what would you expect?
To be completely candid with you I am reluctant to say very much else about this movie. Other than to tell you that it is – in the opinion of this writer – one of the finest Christian movies that I have seen of late. And that I would strongly recommend it to anyone.
There are of course one, maybe two, parts which I personally wasn’t all that keen on. But these were fleeting and certainly not key to the main message or challenge of the movie.
A challenge which actually comes at the beginning of the movie – is followed through throughout the movie and very real and relevant to each of us – especially those of us who already believe in Christ.
And it is set by a street corner preacher who opens with this one simple but far reaching question, “Do you believe in the cross of Christ?” and follows up with the equally far-reaching and extremely challenging question, “If you believe, then the question is – What are you going to do about it?”
And it is a question/challenge which has not left my heart since we watched that movie last night.
Recently, the church that I attend held a Youth Mission. And we had a wonderful team over from a church in Mississauga, Canada to help our own youth ministry and young adult ministry team lead this. And it was so clear to see – from their words, their actions, their presence, and indeed their decision to come all this way – self-funded – and give of themselves and their time, that they have – at least for this time, decided what they are going to do about the fact that they believe in the cross of Christ.
And of course the question that they now face – now that the mission is ended and they return to their usual every day lives, is the same question and of course the same question which faces each of the youths and young adults who attended the youth mission and each and every one of us…
If you believe, then the question is – What are you going to do about it?
You see, giving up your time, attending a youth mission – whether that be as a participant or as a leader/worker – are all good things and indeed giving your life to Christ, or re-committing your life to Christ, is also wonderful. But saying you believe and actually living it out can be two different things can’t it? And believing in Christ is a belief which requires a continual response.
For me personally, this is a question which, I know, is going to remain with me for a while. And why shouldn’t it? Are we not as Christians called to take up our cross daily and follow Him? (Paraphrased from Matthew 16:24)
I have asked, and am still, asking myself essential questions and accepted a number of personal challenges as a result of this film and the questions and challenges that it poses. And I would venture to suggest that most Christians who watch it could face similar questions and challenges.
Especially in a world where an almost ‘anything goes’ mentality seems not only so rife in the world but also to be seeping into the hearts and attitudes of some believers. And where Christianity and faith are coming more and more under attack. And – let us be open and honest here – where; the bible, church attendance, and a disciplined approach to discipleship seem to be falling in importance even in the believer. Despite – it has to be said – God’s will and His warnings against allowing this to happen.
Of course the cross of Christ is – albeit extremely, tragically and yet wonderfully important – just a part of the overall picture, and a personal relationship with Christ Jesus is the essential part. But is a personal relationship with Christ even possible without recognition and acceptance not only of the cross of Christ but also the fact that we each are called, as I said earlier, to pick up our cross and follow Him. (Paraphrased from Matthew 16:24)
At the end of the movie the following scripture (albeit from a different bible version) is displayed. And it is another intrinsically linked challenge.
And I think that we all as believers would do well to reflect on this. i know that I for one am. it is a call to action. A call to put our love – a love which comes from God Himself through Christ and the Holy Spirit – into action. Action which calls for both obedience and sacrifice.
And so I strongly recommend this film to you and leave you with that question and challenge which form the core of this film and the focus of my prayers at this time.
“If you believe, then the question is – What are you going to do about it?”