God’s attempts to stimulate our faith walk
All Saints, the movie, addresses the question, “How does God move us to embrace His purpose for our lives?”
Episcopal Pastor Michael Spurlock, wearing all his glittery vestments preaches to a tiny group in a dying church. He has been brought in by the hierarchy in the church to preach a few sermons, take a complete inventory, and then put the church up for sale. No problem. In and out quickly and then on to a REAL church. Uncomplicated easy peasy assignment, right?
Not so fast
There is one tiny problem. God keeps tapping Michael on the shoulder. God is not done with Michael. He might be a pastor, but he has a lot to learn about the ways of the Lord. Oddly, since he is supposed to be closing the church, He puts out fliers to invite people to church. One of the fliers catches the eye of a displaced Karen refugee from Burma. The next Sunday, he and his wife and friends show up for the church service. One thing leads to another and EVERYONE learns more about God.
Michael has an epiphany
And another and another. At each crossroads, he learns that God’s ways are not our ways and it is never as simple as we imagine it to be when we work out our own great plans. This is a fast moving and fully engaging movie.
Michael is impulsive
AND he is a dedicated pastor. He comes to deeply care about the All Saints congregation, including those from Burma. His wife, Aimee, at first questions his ideas, but soon stands together with him as they seek to fill the needs of their little church community. I like that the town is named “Smyrna.” (The name of the Delaware town where I grew up.)
Out of the mouths of babes
One of the video clips of the movie, shows Michael and family sad about one MORE stunning event. Out of compassion and concern, he goes into his son’s room to talk with him about it. He tells his young son, “We’ll ask for God’s help.” His son replies to His Dad, the pastor, “Aren’t you God’s help?” OUCH! Good point! Motivation!
Where is God when you REALLY need Him?
The movie is very good at showing the reality of the faith walk. The ups and downs. The questions. And the need to trust the One who knows the answers, when we don’t understand why things are going the way they are. In fact, at one point, the Bishop says to Michael, “God’s wisdom is vast, Michael. We don’t always know what He’s asking.”
How does God move you to embrace His purpose for your life?
What do you do when God simply doesn’t make sense to you? Until He DOES!? How do you handle it when you see those you love suffering? (Maybe even as a result of decisions you have made.) Life can be pretty disappointing. And confusing!
This movie is based on true life events and real people
What seeds are planted as you watch a true life story like this? All it takes is one seed. And obedience. And trust that God will take care of the details. Hopefully, the movie will not only be remembered as an inspirational movie but also leave you thinking about your own calling. Your own God-given strengths and purpose. Will you step out….against all odds? Maybe even against “common sense”? Maybe against the “safe and comfortable” choices?
In his biography, by Roger Steer, George Mueller is quoted as saying, “The Lord is good, and doeth good; all will be according to His own blessed character. Nothing but that, which is good, like Himself, can proceed from Him…What I have to do, as His child, is to be satisfied with what my Father does, that I may glorify Him.”
The words of an ancient hymn was comfort for George Mueller at a time of deep distress. May they comfort you, too!
One There is Above All Others
Best of blessings He’ll provide us,
Nought but good shall e’er betide us,
Safe to glory He will guide us,
Oh how He loves!