History repeats itself. Who was it that said that? Something about time going in cycles so that events repeat. One would think that we would learn, but somehow we instead repeat things that have already been. I'm not sure this is something that we should scold ourselves about. After all, it's why we read sacred text. There is something about the stories that we tell -- and retell and tell again -- that speaks to our very experience as human beings. Perhaps because we repeat things that have already been. Or perhaps because we need companions along the way. Perhaps we need to be reminded that the divine is indeed in this too.
Like it was for William Wilburforce. He had his faith and maybe that's what helped him through the struggles of bringing about abolition in England. Maybe. Maybe it's a little preachy for having just seen the movie Amazing Grace. But, it's what ran through my head. And isn't it so? I wonder. In the midst of Wilburforce's courtship with Barbara Spooner, where he recounts his activity in this struggle, she remarks that the tides are changing. She says something to the effect of: "And they won't be afraid anymore. And when there is no fear, there will be compassion." I thought of our current struggles toward peace and recognizing the humanity of Iraqis, Afghanis, the tortured and too many more. History repeats itself.
The other moment that struck me was a blip upon the screen. But, I never really thought about it. The camera panned over a shop in London that prominently displayed a sign declaring: "The sugar sold here has been refined by free hands." Why can't we be as proud about fair trade coffee? I admit that's my current gripe. But, I know that there are others. Too many others that we sacrifice for the luxuries we enjoy. And so, I'm thinking about things that are unrelated to my sermon. But, it's a good movie. You should see it.