Lection Connection - Spirit Sightings

January 20, 2019: Witnessing God's New Way in the World

From Ray McGinnis


Based on James Baldwin’s 1974 novel If Beale Street Could Talk, the 2018 film of the same name revolves around 19-year-old Tish and her romance with a 22-year-old sculptor named Fonny. Fonny and Tish are in love, and this protects them from their respective families and the outside world. They decide to get engaged and soon after she becomes pregnant. Everything is unfolding as it should until Fonny is wrongfully accused of the rape of a Puerto Rican woman named Victoria Rogers. Fonny has been accused of this crime by a racist police officer. He is sent to prison and held before trial. When Tish discovers she is pregnant, her family decides to support her during her pregnancy. They also choose to help her get a lawyer to defend Fonny. They cross their fingers that the lawyer can make a persuasive case at the trial where it is Fonny’s word against the police officer. It doesn’t help that the woman who was raped by someone else has returned to Puerto Rico.

Type: Crime-Drama

Director: Barry Jenkins

Film company: Anapurna Pictures

Release date: December 14, 2018

Starring: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Ed Skrein



Tish and Fonny fall in love. They have long conversations in restaurants, run to meet each other, and walk in the rain. Discovering she is pregnant, they plan to get ready to welcome a new baby into their lives. Then Fonny is arrested on a rape charge. Tish visits Fonny in prison. She reflects on how you see people differently when times are hard. Though your mind is preoccupied, she ponders, “at the same time, and even on the self-same day…you see people like you never saw them before. They shine as bright as a razor. Maybe it’s because you see people differently than you saw them before your trouble started.”


Explore…John 2:1–11

  • What happened at the wedding to the water? Is this a magic trick or a miracle? Does it matter?
  • How are Fonny and Tish tested by Fonny’s arrest and being falsely charged with rape?
  • How are patience, love, and beauty able to transcend despair and hatred?
  • Where do you expect the new places and new ways that God’s work will be revealed?
  • Where would you be surprised to encounter God’s transforming works?


Prayer …

God of miracles, we pray for your works to be revealed where it is needed to bring justice where there is despair, to overcome hate with love and for hearts to be united in love so strong it lures us to a wedding feast. In Christ we pray. Amen.

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