Your assignment for today is read the following articles and write a reaction paper outlining … no, no, no, Just joking. But I do have a number of articles/blog posts listed below you might find interesting.
My wife and daughter and I saw “Les Misérables” this past weekend. I was impressed with the music and the power of the story about redemption and sacrifice, no doubt, like many of you.
I am not going to write another review of the movie or a “sermon” about the movie but I am going to ask if you think the movie (or musical or book) could be called a “sermon” or “homily” in its own right.
What does a minister attempt to do in a sermon? What does this movie attempt to do? And maybe even beyond what the actors and director and producer attempt to do, what does the movie do for it’s audience?
Maybe “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
And these questions lead me to think about the practice of “evangelism.” When do we as Christians, who have a story to share, do our best in presenting that story? On Sunday in a “church” building? When we hand a person a “tract?” When we “present the four spiritual laws?” When we hand out food and clothes to those without? When we tell a story about sacrifice and redemption? When we go to the theater?
And one more question. When do people listen to us and hear? This week NPR is doing a series of stories on the “nones,” those people who report no religious affiliation. We need to be careful how we characterize these folks and not assume we know more about them than we actually do. But I wonder how some of them respond to “Les Misérables.” What do they hear? What can we learn from them about communicating our story of redemptive love? What can they teach us about our story?
Just a few questions this morning I am still trying to answer
Here are links to a few items about “Les Misérables” –
Richard Beck, “The Political Theology of Les Misérables”
Morgan Guyton, “Valjean and Javert: The Two Christianities of Les Miserables”
Mike Parnell, “Les Miserables”
Mark D Roberts (he posted a series of articles)
“The Les Misérables Movie: Fact Check”
“The Les Misérables Movie: Script Changes Reflect the Book, Guide the Viewer [Spoiler Alert]”
“The Les Misérables Movie: Suddenly, There’s a New Song [Spoiler alert]”
“The Les Misérables Movie: Surprises at the End [Major spoiler alert]”
“The Les Misérables Movie: Background on the Bishop”
And here are two items from the NPR series about the “nones” –
“Losing Our Religion: The Growth Of The ‘Nones‘”
“More Young People Are Moving Away From Religion, But Why?”