Bringing the Text to Life

Beyond the Valley of Elah 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49

Beyond the Valley of Elah

Giants keep coming against us throughout our lives. Sometimes all it takes to bring them down is the right stone from the right slingshot.

At a Glance

We start with the 2007 movie, In the Valley of Elah. It's a perfect take-off point for this material, which reflects on the David and Goliath story. It resonates with us, because we, too, sometimes find ourselves in the valley of Elah. The bad news is that we aren't likely to face only one giant. The good news is that there is a way to get beyond the valley of Elah.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's gospel text, see "Take an Ember Day," June 22, 1997, at

The 2007 movie In the Valley of Elah is a good, though quite sad, movie about the high toll the Iraq War exacted on some American soldiers who survived their tour of duty but came home so emotionally scarred that human life itself, including their own, lost all meaning for them. The movie is based on a true incident that occurred in 2003 in Columbus, Ga.

One scene in the middle of the movie provides the basis for its title. The main character is Hank Deerfield, played by Tommy Lee Jones....

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