Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lenten Devotional from the Mississippi Conference
"Be steadfast in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain."
(1 Corinthians 15:58)

I recently went to the movies to see The Book of Eli. To my surprise this movie was somewhat Christian-based, an action adventure about a man who has a goal and will not be stopped. It stars Denzel Washington as Eli, who walks alone across the dangerous wasteland that once was America, driven by his commitment to this goal and the faith to see it through. The movie is set in a world 30-40 years in the future, decimated by some unspecified global disaster. Eli is on a mission to bring what remains of humanity the knowledge that could be its redemption.

But beyond its obvious entertainment value, does The Book of Eli have more in store for us than just a man who has been on a journey for some 30 years?

Either way, as we watch this character's story unfold on the big screen, we might ask how our own lives and choices reflect his. To what extent do we rely upon our own strength and wisdom, and not on God's? What emotional journey and final destination do we travel? Where and how do we differentiate between protecting our faith walk and being vulnerable, especially to people God can use to speak into our lives? What are the barren roads-literal or metaphorical-we use to numb life's pain? And how can God help us with these things?

Whether we see the movie, The Book of Eli, or not, these are certainly the types of things we all should be asking of ourselves-and each other.

The movie closes with the final words of Eli's last prayer, saying he has completed his job, won the race, and kept the faith. During this Lenten season let us begin walking the road on the start of our own journey of growing the beloved community of reconciliation; spreading the word of hope that Jesus brought--the words of hope for our future. Remember to shepherd others, to where they can learn of the hope they almost lost.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to let nothing-and no one- stand in our way when it comes to serving you. Help us to keep moving to fulfill our destiny and bring help to a ravaged people. Amen.

---Tim Crisler is a member of White Oaks UMC in Crystal Springs and serves as the Mississippi Conference Lay Leader.

God is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Producer
United Methodist Communications

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