As some of you may know, I am a movie junkie. I will go to about any genre of movie — comedy, drama, science-fiction, historical, action. There is one genre, however, that I refrain from — horror movies. Those things scare me out of my seat.
Regardless of the type of movie you or I want to see, it is for sure that our movies have some great lines in them that permeate our culture. If you were at the BooFest this past week you would have heard me saying some of those great lines when I saw several people in costumes that reminded me of a movie I have seen — "Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore"..."I'm Batman"..."I am Groot."
Jean Picker Firstenberg, who at the time was the President Emerita of the American Film Institute, said the following: "Great movie quotes become part of our cultural vocabulary. When you consider that any phrase from American film is eligible, you realize this is our most subjective topic to date. We expect nothing less than a war of words as we reignite interest in classic American movies."
I looked over the AFI's list of the top 100 lines. It was amazing how many of them I had heard in a movie! Movie lines have made an impact on our culture. Think for a moment of some of the movie lines you can still quote today (pause)...See, what I mean? It is interesting to hear those movie lines quoted by ourselves or others. Even if we have not seen those movies for many years, we could still remember many of them, and the events surrounding those words that were uttered.
There are other "lines" outside of movies that have shaped our lives as well. Those lines could have been spoken. They could have been conveyed through actions. They could be reflected by one's faith. They could have been just by one's presence. However, we know there are times in our culture (even as recently as Saturday in Pittsburgh at a Jewish place of worship) where "lines of hatred" led someone to kill innocent people attending religious services.
Our current cultural landscape has had much too many words that promote "dividing lines" between one another that lead to inciting hate upon others because of their political views, race, gender, nationality, or sexuality. For people of faith, we know that the lines that connect us to God, one another, and to our neighbors must never tear down but build up.
This Sunday, we will look at the line between Ruth and Naomi that impacted not only both of their lives in the midst of tragedy, but impacted others through that connection. We will also celebrate the lines of connections with those we have loved but have passed on this past year by sharing their names in our All-Saints Sunday Celebration and Remembrance. After each name is shared there will be a chime and a moment of silence. We will also light candles to remember our line of connection with them.
And finally, we will remember the line of connection we have with God through our faith in Jesus Christ by celebrating the act of communion. We will recite the words in scripture that invite all to this table of remembrance. We will be remembering our inter-connectedness to all people around the world as well as those in our worship service.
I hope you can join us as we focus on lines that shape our lives.