There are times in life when we expect the expected; but what happens in the unexpected moments when we are surprised by circumstances beyond belief? It is in these moments when we need hope the most.
I recently heard about an online festival called “Hope at Home”—a ten-week film series where people who are usually distanced from each other by time and space can connect and engage over movies and stories which excite and inspire. The man behind this festival is the CEO of Heritage Films, Rod Hopping, who I had the privilege of connecting with before the festival kicked off.
Movies change people
Rod explained to me that “when people usually go into a movie theatre, they either love or hate the movie, talk about it with friends or family after the movie is over, and usually forget about it a few weeks later”. But being able to connect and stay connected over film and conversation, especially films based on true events and storylines, inspire people to continue talking about it well after the movie has ended. As the theme of his company suggests, “movies change people; people change the world”.
This got me thinking—why are we so impacted by stories?
I recall many a time when I would watch a movie one evening, and wake up thinking about it in a half-sleep deprived daze the next day. Stories with meaning tend to impact people that way. In fact, there are many stories that have had a profound impact on history, and have been turned into films which have changed people’s thoughts and perceptions about life in an extremely meaningful way.
People change the world
There are people we often come across in life that change our lives for the better. In fact, there are some of these folks that are the subject of films as well. As part of the Hope at Home festival, Hacksaw Ridge, The Least of These, Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable, Loud Krazy Love, and others will be shown on screen, and can be viewed in the comfort of your own home.
One of the films, the Passion of The Christ, directed by Mel Gibson, had quite an interesting take on the life of Jesus, focusing not on his life, but on his death. Contemplating this in the weeks following Easter seems almost nostalgic, as Easter has come and gone. But bear with me.
An ordinary event?
I once was taking an Uber to visit a family friend on a Saturday morning on a Summer’s day in hot, South India. Despite the traffic, I was making good time, and my Uber driver and I started a friendly conversation. “Do you live in that church?” he asked me, referring to my location. I mentioned to him that I was staying with my Uncle, whose home was next to the church he pastored. “I remember watching the Jesus film in my hometown,” he said excitedly. “It was the first time I heard about Jesus, though I am a Hindu...his death, his life...I still remember it till today.”
Looking back on that interesting but brief conversation years later, I smile as I remember that interaction between the driver and I. His last statement remains in my mind—“his death, his life…”. Why did one come before the other?
Perhaps that is what makes Jesus' death so unique. It is what makes life begin.
We are living in extra-ordinary times, when what seems predictable is not so apparent anymore. Yet we have a life that is meant to be lived in expectation of such times; because Christ laid down the blueprint of life that we are meant to follow.
You may be lacking hope during these difficult days, but He came to give us life. It’s when we realise that this is what keeps us going, despite the unpredictability of living in a world that’s changing, we find hope again.
“I have come that they may have life, and life more abundantly.” (John chapter 10 verse 10)
Will you find such hope in Him?
Joseph Kolapudi's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/joseph-kolapudi.html