I solemnly assure you, history has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptizer. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he. Matthew 11:11
Chadwick Boseman, a superb writer, director, and actor, is probably best known for his role in the 2018 Marvel movie, Black Panther. Like the lead character in that Marvel movie, T’Challa – King of Wakanda, Boseman was a superhero in life.
Born in 1976 in South Carolina, Chadwick was baptized and raised as a Christian, actively participating in his church. His pastor said he was not only in the youth group and choir, but he always reached out to serve others. This continued into his adult life as he raised money so that Boys and Girls Clubs could have an interdisciplinary educational program known as STEM made available to them.
Two years before Black Panther was released, Chadwick was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. He underwent numerous surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy. Still, he visited the sick children at St. Jude’s Research Hospital. He continued his daily work, bearing his troubles quietly and courageously while filming the movie that would make him famous around the world.
While suffering himself, Chadwick gave hope to others. Josh Gad, a fellow actor, said he was encouraged by Boseman’s final words to him. “We should take advantage of every moment we can to enjoy the simplicity of God’s creation, whether it be clear skies and sun or clouded over with gloom…”
His Alma Mater, Howard University, was honored that Chadwick could deliver the 2018 Commencement Address. In it, he quoted Scripture as he often did, weaving together several Bible passages to make his point:
“When God has something for you, it doesn’t matter who stands against it. God will move someone that is holding you back away from the door and put someone there who will open it for you, if it’s meant for you…”
But Chadwick Boseman did more than quote Scripture. He lived it. His colleagues and all who knew him saw him not only as brilliant in his profession, but as a good person who, like a king, stood up for what is right. Like King T’Challa, he could remind us not only how blessed we are to live knowing that Christ has been born into this world, but also of our responsibilities to live the gospel message:
“Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We cannot. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.”
Chadwick Boseman is our twelfth Ornament of Grace.
Observing the Beautiful Ornaments
How did Chadwick Boseman show that the “…least born into the kingdom of God…” is of great worth?
How can you realize the blessed life you have been given, even when surrounded by suffering and trouble?