John Piper Offers Reasons Why 'Selma' Movie Matters Today

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Selma protest
This year is the 50th anniversary of the events of Selma, and here's why it matters to you. (DesiringGod.org)

 

5. The movie lets these religious roots shine through.

At one of his lowest points King calls singer Mahalia Jackson and says, "I need a word from the Lord." She sits on the edge of her bed and sings,

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Then when King and Ralph Abernathy are in jail together, King hits a new low, and Abernathy quotes the words of Jesus:

"Look at the birds of the air, for they do not sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?" (Matt. 6:26).

6. The story stirs up dreams of a life that counts.

This was the main impact on me. When I think about the needs and sorrows and injustices of the world (thousands of peoples perishing unreached by the gospel, millions of babies killed in their mothers' wombs, global slavery and human trafficking, ethnic and racial hatreds around the world), the thought of an easy, comfortable, secure life of coasting to the end, feels overwhelmingly unattractive to me.

So I pray that this story of courage and sacrifice and conflicted righteousness will stir you and me to an unwavering commitment not to waste our lives.

"The thought of an easy, comfortable, secure life of coasting to the end, feels overwhelmingly unattractive to me."

Related Resources

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringgod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.

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