Believe it or not, one of my top five or six all-time favorite movies and stage performances is a musical. I am referring to Les Miserables, starring Hugh Jackman. In both the musical film and stage version, Hugh Jackman is an amazing actor and singer in the starring role. The Hollywood film and theatrical performance is adapted from the classic French novel written by 19c. author and historian Victor Hugo. It is an intense and uplifting story of an ex-convict and his struggles from brokenness to redemption.
I recently discovered the non-musical public television version of Les Miserables. Connie and I have been setting the DVR and watching for several nights on TV. These are all unknown actors to me, however, this TV version still follows Victor Hugo’s history of the French people through several characters lives and their interactions. Humankind themes of justice, religion, and politics dominate the classic tale filtered through the eyes of law and grace.
Last night during a scene of human despair, I turned to Connie and said, “these people were really treated brutally.” If you haven’t read about the severe living conditions for peasants and common people leading up to the French Revolution, crack open a book at the library. Those trapped in a social class of commoners, factory workers, women and children were particularly abused by the aristocratic wealthy.
In our modern culture, complaints are common with most things which, in reality, are mere inconveniences. I am guilty as everyone else fomenting over traffic, gas prices, and the weather. Reviewing a little world (family & nation) history now and then may help us all remember more clearly. We should try to remember from where we have come; how hard fought freedom was throughout history for people to obtain a better way of life.
Maybe we have grown a bit numb to the despair of our neighbor, wherever we reside. Maybe it is time to review some family photos of years past when parents and grandparents actually lived in harsher circumstances. Ask more questions about your own immigrant ancestors for a little perspective. Never forget the wars fought to give freedoms to people like us in America.
This weekend at Journey is Mother’s Day on the calendar. This is statistically the third largest attendance day for churches, just behind Christmas and Easter. I hope you can be here and help us worship with moms. If you haven’t yet figured out what to get mom for Mother’s Day here’s an idea; my guess is just sitting beside YOU at church would be a home run. Moms have made so many sacrifices for all of us. Don’t forget all that family history and how each of us got here in the first place. Yay, Mom!
Journey is on a mission, doing nice things for people we meet this week. Tell us some of your stories. Tuesday the Tide Jug money bought a train ticket on Amtrak helping a person relocate to Colorado, when no one else could help. It’s nice to be nice. Do something this week.
And can I remind you one more time? Don’t forget moms this weekend on Mother’s Day whatever you do. Adopt a mom to sit with at worship and be nice if you can’t be with your mom this year. It’s nice to be nice.