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Preaching that Challenges Men Without Maligning Them

Stewart Ruch models 'compassionate authority.'

Fully Alive: The Call of Men

Probably one of the top five Ruch family favorite films would be a really beautiful film made several years ago called The Nativity. As a matter of fact, it is part of our Christmas traditions which begin on the eve of the eve of Christmas Eve. What’s happened is we have so many we have to back them up to get ready to get everything done in time for Christmas Day. So on the eve of the eve of Christmas Eve, we almost always watch The Nativity together. It is, as you might imagine, a story about the birth of Jesus. But in that story of the birth of Jesus, it really tells not only the story of God, but it tells beautifully the stories of Mary and Joseph, the story of male and female. The movie in a significant part chronicles the journey that Joseph and Mary take from Nazareth, their hometown, to Bethlehem.

There is a scene on that journey where Joseph and Mary come upon a party that has been stopped and is in crisis. It appears that the donkey, who has been carrying the mother in the family and carrying the supplies needed, has come to a place of starvation, dehydration, and can no longer function. The donkey has its head back, and it’s braying and it’s kicking up, and you can see that this is a journey in crisis. Joseph, who looks at his donkey and sees these circumstances, has a look of incredible concern on his face as in, That could happen to us. The next scene is of Joseph and Mary at a campfire. They’re having dinner, and you see Joseph very quietly, very carefully take all his food and just put it behind him while he and Mary are there together. Mary doesn’t notice. She goes off to bed, and then while Mary is sleeping Joseph takes his entire meal—and he ...

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