Hollywood and Christmas are joined at the finances, not the faith. But here’s a story in the holiday spirit brought by one of the world’s biggest stars.
Denzel Washington’s new film project holds a special place in his heart: It pays tribute to his Christian beliefs.
Directed by the cinematic icon, A Journal for Jordan tells the true story of First Sgt. Charles Monroe King and his family.
Charles died in Iraq in 2006, leaving behind his partner Dana Canedy and their infant son, Jordan.
Charles had kept a journal, which serves as an ongoing love letter to Dana and life instructions for their growing boy.
In an interview with Religion News Service, Dana describes the man’s gift to those he loved:
“There are themes in the journal that come through: his dedication to military service, his absolute respect for women, which is one of the things that comes through the most, and his religious faith. He put Bible verses in there for Jordan. He writes and speaks about religion at least a dozen times throughout the journal.”
“Love, true love, never leaves you,” Dana assures. “[I]f I drew my last breath today, I would still be Jordan’s mother and still love him. And if you believe that you’re more than your physical body, that your spirit and your soul lives on, then you have to believe the spirit and soul [continue] to love you.”
“True love never dies. That’s what they have — not had — have.”
During production, the actor recalls, they sometimes began scenes with prayer.
That was fitting, given A Journal for Jordan’s Christian core:
“The spirit of God is throughout the film. Charles is an angel. I’m a believer. Dana’s a believer. So that was a part of every decision, hopefully, that I tried to make. I wanted to please God, and I wanted to please Charles, and I wanted to please Dana.”
The release date is surely no coincidence — it opens Christmas Day.
As for the faith-based foray’s director, it’s not the first time he’s proclaimed his worship of Jesus Christ.
Hollywood Star Denzel Washington Recalls the Moment He Gave His Life to Christ https://t.co/Ip1f5m8uIu
— RedState (@RedState) June 30, 2020
“[S]trength, leadership, power, authority, guidance, patience are God’s gift to us as men.”
He also spoke of our current cultural corruption:
“[The Bible] says in the last days, we’ll become lovers of ourselves. The number one photograph now is a selfie. … We’re willing to do anything…to be influential. … Be you famous or whoever’s out there listening… It’s cliché [but] money, don’t make it better. It doesn’t. Fame just magnifies the problems and the opportunities.”
And he offered advice: “Stay on your knees.”
“I hope that the words in my mouth,” he continued, “and the meditation of my heart are pleasing in God’s sight.”
The Hollywood heavyweight’s hopes haven’t changed.
“[I] try to make sure I try to put God first in everything,” he explains to RNS. “I was reading something this morning in my meditation about selfishness and how the only way to true independence is complete dependence on the Almighty.”
Those aren’t the kind of words often heard from celebrities.
But it seems there are still sparkles of faith in an increasingly-eclipsed Tinseltown.
And the movie’s message is something to consider — that love never dies — as we commemorate a luminous heaven long ago, a Holy Night when splendor pierced the darkness for all people.
That beacon brought good tidings of great joy.
May your Christmas bring the same.
And it will — if you believe, not in a Hollywood star, but one in the eastern sky bringing Light to the World.
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