713-528-6665   ---   1805 W ALABAMA, HOUSTON, TX 77098 --- SUNDAY WORSHIP AT 8:30 AM & 10:30 AM    --- info@ststephenshouston.org

One of my joys of coming out of COVID is that I get to go to movie theatres again and see films on the big screen.  I love being enveloped by the darkness, surrounded by the sound.  Films take me out of my world and transport me to another place and time.  I also relish getting to have this experience with others—together alone.

I mistakenly thought that the film Origin would be showing through Sunday at the Regal on Weslayan.  It is not; it will be showing on Sunday in some movie theatres further out of the loop.  The St. Stephen’s group outing was rescheduled to Wednesday night.  I had the good fortune to join about a dozen of our parishioners at a showing then.

The film was riveting, disturbing, moving, and touching all in turns.  The director, Ava DuVernay, did a masterful job of adapting a non-fiction book on caste into a feature film by grounding the thesis of the book in the life of the author, while simultaneously presenting the theory and its historical underpinnings.  The images of lynchings, Dalits, and book burnings were searing.  The pathos of grief spoke authentically through the faces of the actors.

As Christians when we speak of something or someone as being ‘holy,’ we are not talking about being sweet or nice.  Holiness is being set apart for or by the divine.  Sometimes in Scripture to be in the presence of the holy is to be terrified.  Think of Isaiah in the Temple seeing the seraphim or Moses before the burning bush or Zechariah being struck dumb upon learning of his soon to be son and responding in disbelief.  To be in the presence of the holy is to be transported in awareness.

When the movie ended on Wednesday night, the theatre of folks was completely silent.  We were struck dumb by the truths that were portrayed.  The truth will set you free, but first it takes your breath away.

The Reverend Lisa Hunt, Rector