With very little fanfare and publicity, “A Case for Love,” a film based on the writings and message of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, was released for only one day and two showings this past Tuesday. It was also available in only select theaters: in Alaska, those theaters were limited to Fairbanks and Anchorage.
It is pretty certain that very few people saw the film. I was happy to see it at the Regal Cinema in Fairbanks with my son, Jack, and his friend, Charity. I hope that the film will eventually be available in other formats or for streaming. In documentary and autobiographical style, the film tells stories of several people and families who despite extraordinary challenges, hardships, loss, and grief found hope and their lives transformed by some expression of unselfish love either by another person or through their own exprience of reaching out in care for someone else.
Throughout the film, the key question is asked of many individuals: “what is love?”
The film is worth watching if for no other reason than Bishop Curry’s charge at the conclusion of the film. The Presiding Bishops invites us to spend the next 30 days (and I would suggest any 30 days) exploring and practicing unselfish love, the kind of love we see lived out in Jesus, the kind of love that can transform the world.
At one point in the film, Curry reminds us all that in the face of all the challenges we confront in this world, no one can do it all. But all of us can do something. When it comes to unselfish love, no gesture is too small to be transformative.
So I am inviting the Diocese of Alaska to take on the challenge of unselfish love. And I am going further to invite us to make this not a 30-day project, but a full Lenten discipline. Practice kindness. Make the effort to listen to others. Seek to understand more than to be understood. Help when you can help. Smile when you can smile. Call someone who could use a call. Resist the snakey comment. Think before you respond. Pray before you react. And walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God.