Yesterday in the sermon, I mentioned that one way we could pursue ethnic harmony would be to spend part of this Martin Luther King, Jr. day attending the new movie, Selma. Just this morning, Pastor John Piper published some thoughts on the movie, and more importantly, the historical event it recollects:
The recent movie Selma tells the story of the civil rights efforts to gain the right of unencumbered voting for Blacks in Alabama. As the movie begins, the raw juxtaposition of Martin Luther King’s receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and the deaths of four black girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama sets the stage for the battle between King’s philosophy of non-violence, and the brutal response of Sheriff James Clark. The movie covers the Selma events of February–March, 1965.
One of the reasons that the events of Selma are worthy of special attention is that they give insight into how local events became a national crisis, involving the President of the United States and the emergence of the Federal Voting Rights Act, signed into law by Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965.
Why does this story matter today?
Pastor John then provides six answers to his question.
This story is recent.
The story illuminates structural racism.
The story is honest about King’s moral failures.
The story displays the power of non-violent resistance to injustice.
The movie lets these religious roots shine through.
The story stirs up dreams of a life that counts.
I recommend reading his thoughts on these six points, and going to the movie today.