Monday, February 8, 2016

Movie Morningt

 The Wednesday morning Bible Study group has wrapped up their study of the Sermon on the Mount.  For a change of pace they watched the movie "Chariots of Fire" last Wednesday.
      The British made movie was first in theatres in 1981.  I recall seeing it then but most of what I remembered was the terrific sound track by Greek composer, Vangelis Papathanassiou.  The opening theme, released as a single, topped the charts for weeks.  It has been played at weddings, graduations, funerals and sporting events ever since.
    I also remembered that Eric Liddell refused to run on Sunday, but I'd forgotten the resolution to that dilemma.  Liddell was a devout man, son of missionaries and destined for the mission field himself, yet he had this gift of speed.  He believed that "God made me fast," and that by running, he honoured God.  He set aside his missionary training temporarily, in order to run in the 1924 Olympics.  That decision was a great disappointment to his sister.  Her disapproval pained Liddell deeply.  When the date of his qualifying heat falls on a Sunday, Liddell refuses to run.  All his sacrifice and pain and effort, will be for naught.
     He is under tremendous pressure by the British Olympic committee and even the Prince of Wales to set aside his Christian convictions and run.  Knowing he will disappoint the whole of Great Britain, Liddell maintains his stand.  He will put God first and keep the Sabbath.
    Rescue arrives in the person of Lord Lindsay. Lindsay has already won a silver medal in the 400 metre hurdles and offers his place in the 400 metre race to Liddell.  The offer is gratefully accepted and Liddell goes on to win.
    In the excitement over Liddell's principled stand and his subsequent victory, Lindsay can be overlooked. Yet his actions are equally heroic.  An Olympic medal is a much-prized reward, but two are better.  Gold is better than silver.  Lindsay, although portrayed as an easy-going charmer, proves that beneath his suave demeanour lies a loyal friend and a true patriot.  For the sake of others, he sacrifices his chance for personal glory.

   None of us watching the movie on Wednesday morning has the gift of speed, but we have other gifts.  We can speak, or garden, or sing, or bake cookies.  We can organize, fund-raise, and run for office, all to the glory of God.
  We might also be the means by which another's gift is realized and that pleases God as well.  

Next week we begin our study of Women of the Old Testament, starting with Eve.

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