Thank you BH Impact for sending us this DVD to review!
Most Christians agree that Mary played a crucial role in bringing our savior into this world in His human form. His conception was divine since Mary was not yet married and a virgin. When she was visited by an angel, she accepted God’s will without thinking about the social stigma that would be placed on her or the emotional suffering that was to come. She is truly a role model of humble submission.
With that said, there are arguments in Christian circles that some denominations put too much emphasis on Mary believing that she can mediate between Jesus and mankind, that she too was sinless, and remained a virgin after marriage. The Bible clearly states that Jesus is our mediator (1 Tim 2:5), all have sinned (Rom 3:23, Luke 2:24), and that Jesus had earthly siblings (Matt 12:47).
The movie Full of Grace does not show any of her offspring caring for her towards the end of her life. Instead, a (presumably fictional) woman named Zara is shown tending to her. Sensing that her time on earth is dwindling, Mary sends word to Peter that she would like to speak with him one more time.
Meanwhile, Peter is being pressured by members of the early church seeking permission to interpret scriptures to teach the spiritually hungry new believers. With issues like denying the trinity, not believing that Jesus was fully man as well as God, and believers picking and choosing Christ’s teachings, the early church is already harvesting seeds of discord. Peter doesn’t want to spread false doctrine and is not sure how to proceed, so he welcomes the diversion of tending to Mary before giving the church elders a decision.
Mary and Peter talk about their time together with Jesus and Mary implores him to go back to the beginning to understand the end. Peter is soon accompanied by Simon and John who question him on Paul’s ministry and his rejecting the Old Testament ways. Many good topics like law versus tradition, and limitless grace are discussed. While this movie is slow-paced, it’s interesting to see how the early church struggled with its rapid growth and human failings.
On her deathbed Mary shares with Jesus’ disciples and friends her earthly memories and wisdom. She refers to the people there as her children and reminds them that she will always be with them. Before passing, she has communion with them and has oil placed on her head. Her body is shown being carried away and buried instead of ascending to heaven like some denominations believe.
Even though I didn’t recognize any of the actors, they played their roles well. The background music and singing set the tone and the scenery was authentic, beautiful, and gloomy when it needed to be. It lacks some of the triple A movie special effects, but the message of the movie is made clear without the need for unnecessary fanfare.
I won’t spoil what Peter learned in case you wish to see this one hour and twenty-three minute film. My mom, step-dad and I found it somewhat interesting while my husband managed to fall asleep. If you want to see a movie portraying the possible struggles of the early church, than look no further than Full of Grace. Just make sure you're well rested beforehand.
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