Editor’s Note: This is an opinion column.
By Michael J. Brooks
I remember it often since a few of the websites I visit have the security question: “What is your favorite movie?” The response I use to identify myself to the unseen cyberbots is “The Blues Brothers.” The movie is a musical comedy and held the record at the time for the most automobiles destroyed in a police chase (103).
The plot is that Jake and Elwood Blues were inspired at the Third Rock Missionary Baptist Church by Pastor Cleophus, played by the late, great James Brown, and set out on a mission from God.
On the 40th anniversary of the movie in 2020, the Vatican named it a “Catholic classic” and a movie “all Catholics should see.” I suppose it had to do with saving the St. Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage, which the brothers did. Thus “The Blues Brothers” joins “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Ten Commandments” as “classic Catholic movies”–certainly a unique trio!
But the theme of “we’re on a mission from God” rings true for every believer.
Christians believe our mission from God began with Abraham. God called him away from his home and family and promised to bless the world through him. And to this childless senior and his wife, Sarah, God promised to make their descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. Abraham and his descendants taught the world the laws of God in the Old Testament, and one of Abraham’s descendants became the messiah. We who follow the messiah, whom we normally call by the Greek equivalent, “Christ,” continue this mission to bless the world.
How do we bless the world?
Jesus appeared on the shores of Galilee and said, “Follow me.” As we follow Christ, we go with him into places of need.
Christ had compassion for the sick, and he healed many. We’re commanded to care for the suffering and to pray for them. Faith hospitals from St. Jude in Memphis to local Baptist hospitals in Birmingham offer compassionate care for the sick. My mother spent time in Birmingham’s St. Vincent’s Hospital before her death and told me how much it meant for the Catholic sisters to stop in and pray with her.
Christ had compassion for the hungry, and he fed them. Christians know that if people have empty stomachs, they probably won’t listen to our message about empty hearts.
Christ had compassion for the outcasts. He spent time with the immoral and despised Samaritan woman. He promised living waster to satisfy her spiritual thirst. Christians disregard social barriers because our task is to share the same living water with those who need to know God’s love.
It’s true we’re on a mission from God.
Reflections is a weekly devotional feature written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster, Alabama. The church’s website is siluriabaptist.com.