a blog from our pastors and staff
by Janell Clingenpeel, Hillside's friendly church secretary
I am in love with all things nerdy and thankfully a lot of my church family is either the same or respects the way of the nerd. Today I want to talk to you about the Marvel movie, Black Panther. This may seem weird for a church to post a blog about such things, but it had some really relevant and amazing things that we can incorporate into biblical teaching.
Before I go further, I have a couple things I feel I must tell you:
1) Black Panther is rated PG-13 and for good reason. I leave it up to you to discern if this movie is right for you. PluggedIn.com is great resource for movie reviews written from a Christian perspective and I encourage you to read their review on Black Panther here: http://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/black-panther-2018
2) SPOILERS!!!! For those of you who have not seen the movie and do not like to know anything about it before going to see it, come back to read this later!
The scene I would like to talk to you about today is a post-credit scene. After a huge battle of good vs. evil and our hero, the Black Panther, finding out a lot about himself, his country and his past, he decides his country can no longer hide in the shadows and lie that Wakanda (a fictional, but amazing country) is a third-world county, but a country that can provide aid and seeks to bring unity to the world. At the end of the credits we see King T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) address the United Nations; he gives this speech:
"Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We cannot. We must not," T'Challa declares. "We will work to be an example of how we as brothers and sisters on this earth should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe."
I have watched the movie twice now, and each time I am moved by these words: “More connects us than separates us.”
It seems like more and more every day our community, country, world becomes more divided. It is a simple truth to realize more does connect us than separate. The Bible tells us over and over to love one another, and for good reason. We are often divided by divisive talk, political views, what we look like, how we act. But if we were to simply remember to love one another, more than ourselves, I feel we would find the truth of “more connects us than separates” an easier truth to live. Just do a search on the interwebs, and the Bible tells us over and over to love. We are often faced with times of crisis, and it is during these times I find it the hardest to reach out to others. I often build walls and try to handle things myself. T’Challa (and the Bible) tells us that the wise build bridges. We should reach out for help; we should reach out to those who need help. Simply love those around you. Be kind. Be open to help in times of need, and open to help others when you can.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.