Kathie Lee Gifford Presents: The Way – A Musical Celebration of Faith (Movie Review)

Lisa HollowayBy Lisa Holloway7 Minutes

Kathie Lee Gifford Presents: The Way is a musical celebration of faith that sings the Bible to life. With favorites like Nicole C. Mullen, Bebe Winans, The Shindellas, and Larry Gatlin, the music is nothing less than stunning. But is it just another biblical musical?

First of all, The Way isn’t about a single Bible story. God is the star. Despite their presence, the focus is never truly Moses, Hagar, Peter, or the others. The pieces of their stories exist to add depth and illustrate the theme: the power and grace of God as He works in our lives.

Part 1: The God of the How and When

Part I of The Way takes us through musical vignettes of Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Joshua, and a teenaged Mary. People like us, with their doubts and insecurities.

A childless Sarah questions God’s promises amidst her reality. Meanwhile, Moses feels unable to accomplish the enormous tasks God has chosen him for.

But it isn’t about what they can do on their own. Instead, God’s “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Sometimes God works His power through us to shift the situation. Sometimes He works to shift us. Now as then, God’s grace is sufficient.

God isn’t daunted by our reality. He isn’t worried whether Moses will get the job done. God’s hand is powerful and brings His will to pass, regardless of the one He works through. Moses is just the vessel, and that’s something he’s still discovering here.

But Mary gets it. She believes God, even when His promise seems impossible. And that’s just it: We don’t need to understand the “how.” Only be certain God is working out the “when” in His own perfect timing.

Part 2: The God of His Word

If Part 1 explores the power of God’s promises, in Part 2 we see Jehovah Elohim, the Mighty One, demonstrate the power of the word. He speaks the world into being. The Word becomes flesh and dwells among us (John 1:14) as Jesus.

Later, Jesus calls 12 rather ordinary men into new life as His disciples. This, in itself, is a celebration of faith. These working men won’t move the world through their own wisdom, education, or social status. Rather, they will use the words and witness God gives them to communicate His love.

And it isn’t only men that Jesus calls. He brings women into the Way as co-heirs in the kingdom of God. He works powerfully in their stories to make all things new and give them a witness of His love to share with the world.

Part 3: The God Who Sees

Part 3 is amazing for both music and theme. Nicole C. Mullen absolutely rocks this entire section with her voice and the lyrics, which she co-wrote.

While the first two parts reveal God’s majesty in His promises and word, Part 3 has a more personal feel. Here God doesn’t just see Hagar, cast off and alone in the wilderness. He sees me. He loves me. Just as He loves you. Just as we are. The words reach out to pull us into those moments.

In these songs, I feel the raw power of God’s love to surround us and heal all that’s broken. I see a used and abandoned Hagar walk into that love, then Ruth with her uncompromising promises, ready for blessing.

I see Jesus and Mary Magdalene and her heartbroken weeping as she watches Him die, along with her hope. And her world turns to nothing until He speaks in the garden. Because He sees her grief. Her need. Then her joy when she finds Him alive again.

More than anything, the wonder of God’s love flows out in this oratorio. Don’t miss it.

Part 4: The God of the Other Side

In Part 4, Jesus begins by taking His followers to “the other side” of the lake, where faithful Jews didn’t normally go. There He reaches into the lives of the lost.

He walks into a place where a man is possessed and tormented by a legion of demons and sets him free—a man so far gone he couldn’t have asked for help. I think most of us know someone like that.

But be encouraged: In Judges 6, God once called a man named Gideon out of the wine press and named him a “mighty man of valor.” Here Jesus calls the demon-possessed man out of destruction into the identity God planned for him from the beginning. A witness to those who knew how different he’d become from what he was.

In these and more, we see that Jesus is The Way. He brings them back to who they really are. There is “no condemnation” (Romans 8:1). The Way crosses over to “the other side” to bring them all back home—just like He did for you and me.

Who Should Watch It?

This musical celebration of faith could be a good watch for non-believers who love music and want to know more about Jesus. But even more, I think this is a chance for believers who already know a little bit about the people in the Bible to soak in God and praise Him for who He is.

The background scenery in this special is beautiful, although unrelated to the narrative. So even if you don’t have time to sit and watch, I think this musical also works great as something you simply listen to while you’re doing other things around the house. There’s no violence, language, or iffy content, so Kathie Lee Gifford Presents: The Way is a pretty, faith-building watch for the whole family. [Rated G]