Wednesday, December 26, 2012

End of the Year Recap

     So once again on “Reel Christianity”, at the end of the year, I want to just look over all the ideas that we’ve looked at together through the movies.

     Through “Citizen Kane”, we were reminded of Jesus’ famous words about gaining the whole world and yet losing your soul. (Matthew 16, Mark 8)

     Through “Life is Beautiful”, we learned about how through the fall of man, we lost our innocence as children as God and need a way to be brought back to that. (Genesis 2, 3)

     Through “The Dark Knight”, we could see Batman as representing Jesus taking our sins upon himself. (1 Peter 2)

     Through “The Big Lebowski”, we were reminded that “sometimes, there’s a man…” And God can use us to accomplish anything, no matter how strange. (Ephesians 2)

     Through “The Hurt Locker”, we learned that only Jesus can bring peace to our souls and take away our burdens. (Matthew 11)

     Through “Ed Wood”, we learned that we can never compromise when we are doing work for the Lord. (Romans 6)

     Through “Up”, we were reminded that sometimes we have to let go of the things—or people—we love, in order for them to be free. (Luke 14, 21)

     Through “Doubt”, we were reminded to not judge others and always fix the sin issues in ourselves before calling them out in others. (Luke 6)

     Through “The Artist”, we learned that this world shouldn’t be the focus in what we do—we need to put away our pride and be in the world, not of it. (John 15, 1 John 2)

     Through “Modern Times”, we were reminded to have hope even through tough times, and to trust in God always. (Psalm 39, Proverbs 3)

     In “It Happened One Night”, we saw a love story that, though it didn’t start out that way, was eventually driven by love and not by any gain one person could receive from it. (Ecclesiastes 5)

     Through “Michael Clayton”, we were reminded not to be lukewarm about what we do, and certainly not to be lukewarm in our faith. (Revelation 3)

     Through “Rope”, we were reminded that though we are born into sin, we long for righteousness and will receive it when we meet Jesus. (Psalm 51, Romans 5, 1 John 1)

     In the first “Chronicles of Narnia” movie, Lucy and Aslan acted as metaphors for the faithful follower of Jesus, and Jesus himself who gave His life to save his friends. (Luke 18, Romans 5)

     Through “Sergeant York”, we learned about authority and how God asks us to follow authority on Earth, whatever that may look like. (Matthew 22, Mark 12, Luke 20)

     In “The New World”, we looked again at this idea of marriage and what a pure union looks like. (Genesis 2, Ephesians 5)

     Through “Paths of Glory”, we learned a little more about the idea of fairness and how God, in fact, is not fair, but He blesses us anyway. (Matthew 20)

     In our “Running the Race” series, we learned a lot about serving God in everything we do, in the context of sports films. (Luke 10, 2 Corinthians 9, Ephesians 2, 2 Timothy 4)

     In “Intolerance”, we saw some New Testament stories re-created as Jesus loved sinners in a way that the Pharisees did not. (Luke 18, John 8)

     Through “The Adventures of Robin Hood”, we were reminded of Jesus’ command to follow Him and put everything else aside. (Mark 8)

     Through “Babe”, we were reminded again that God has a specific plan for us to glorify Him. (Ephesians 2)

     In “The Dark Knight Rises”, we saw Bruce Wayne again deny his identity and become Batman once again to save Gotham City from their own apocalypse. (Matthew 16)

     In “Shadowlands”, we learned that the pain we experience today will one day be replaced by joy that can only come from Jesus. (Romans 8)

     Through “Vertigo”, we were reminded not to dwell on the past—on past success, on past sins, or past loves—and focus only on God. (Isaiah 43)

     Through “Tootsie”, we learned about unconditional love, a love for someone based on who they are rather than how they will benefit us. (Matthew 5)

     Through “Lost in Translation”, we were reminded again about the love a man and a woman should have for each other, a sacrificial love. (Ephesians 5)

     Through “Shadow of a Doubt”, a story of what seems to be an ordinary American family, we learned that God’s plans for us are indeed extraordinary. (Romans 12)

     In “Badlands”, we were reminded of King David and his prayer to the Lord in confession of sin, similar to that of the characters. (Psalm 51)

     Through “We Bought a Zoo”, we were reminded to be bold for Christ and say “yes” to His will for us. (Isaiah 6)

     Through “Marty”, we were reminded that even when we feel unlovable, we are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made”. (Psalm 139)

     Through “A Clockwork Orange”, and the “Choose Life” series, we talked a lot about the idea of free will and whether or not God chooses who His followers will be ahead of time, and whether or not we can indeed choose to follow God on our own. (Genesis 3, Deuteronomy 30, Psalm 139, Jeremiah 29, Matthew 19, 1 Corinthians 13)

     Through “Spartacus”, we learned about brotherly love, and how even through the darkest of circumstances, we can learn to love our brother. (John 15-17)

     In “Through a Glass Darkly”, we were reminded of this great idea that God is love, and when we love each other, God is there. (1 Corinthians 13, 1 John 4)

     Through “Groundhog Day”, we were reminded not to focus on the things of the world that we should gain for ourselves, but we should rather focus on the needs of others and help those around us. (Matthew 6)

     Through “In the Mood for Love”, we learned to be content where God has placed us in life, and to serve Him well wherever we are. (1 Corinthians 7)

     Through “The Polar Express” and “Miracle on 34th Street”, we were reminded to have a childlike faith in God even when it seems He is not there. (Hebrews 11)

     In “It’s a Wonderful Life”, we saw a great example of a man pouring his life out to the people around him, as we need to do for those around us. (Philippians 2)

     And in addition to all this, I had a great experience in June while on my missions trip to Peru and Ecuador, learning a lot about trusting God and being submissive to His will for me instead of worrying about my own plans. I look at all this and I realize, we’ve learned a lot this year about God, even though some of it was through hard circumstances.

     But maybe that’s the amazing thing: God revealed Himself to us through the tough times as well as the good! I personally am thankful for that, and I’m thankful to all of you who continue to read this and pray that we will continue to grow together in seeing God in the movies. God bless, have a great start to 2013!

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