Illustration results for salvation
Dead Poets Society is, I think, one of the best films of all time. In his first lesson with
his senior class, the rather eccentric but very inspiring English teacher John Keating,
played by Robin Williams, takes the boys into the foyer outside the classroom where
he asks one lad by the name of Pitts (a rather unfortunate name, Keating muses) to
read out a poem. In an uncertain voice, Pitts reads,
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
Old time is still a-flying
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying."
’Carpe deum’, Keating says to them, ’Seize the day’. Every single one of us is just
food for worms. You may be destined for great things, but you need to take the
opportunity now. Then he leads his class up to the cabinet on the side of the foyer,
filed with old, black and white photos of old boys . What do all these boys, your
illustrious predecessors, have in common?, asks Keating. They’re all fertilising
daffodils. They’re all dead. They were boys with high expectations, high ideals, just
like you. They felt they were invincible, thought that the world was their oyster, just
like you. But did they manage to fulfil even a tiny bit of their potential? Keating
gathers his charges close around the cabinet, telling them to listen to the legacy the
old boys have for them. He whispers from behind them, imitating the ghosts of the
past. "Carpe deum. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."
This teacher, while he might have been inspiring, while he might have been
funny, had all his priorities out of order. He thought that success in this life was the
most important thing to pursue. He thought that everything ended when we all
became "food for worms", when we all began a new job as daffodil fertilisers. Yet,
despite his problems, one part of John Keating’s message echoes the thoughts of Paul
in 2 Corinthians 6. Seize the day, says Keating, make your lives extraordinary. Seize
the day, says Paul, be reconciled to God.
Jackie Chan movie. This man is very innovative in the way that he makes fight scenes. Instead of just using normal karate chops and the like, he will use common every day items and create unbelievable fight scenes with them. In one scene, he fights off dozens of men with a common every day step ladder. I suppose some would be unimpressed with his action scenes. But when I saw that, I couldn’t believe how he orchestrated the action. In a sense, that’s what’s so amazing about God! But a hundred times more! He creates salvation through the birth of a boy - something that we see every day. He decides to save the world and bring life - through all things - an instrument of death - a cross! You would expect God - a powerful God - to use power to save the world. You would expect God to try and impress us with powerful miracles to convert us. But instead, He uses weakness! He uses the staff of His Word! With this simple tool - words - God converts us! He gets us to put our hands over our mouths - crawl on our knees before Him - and turn in fear to HIM for forgiveness. When we see God take us out of this sinful world and plant us into HIS kingdom - it brings us out of our dens of self righteousness and into the light of his SON! That’s exciting! If that doesn’t at least bring some joy to your heart - you’d best pinch yourself - because you must be dead!
C.S. Lewis is portrayed in the movie Shadowlands as a man struggling with doubts about God. Shadowlands is about his life and reveals the awful ordeal he had to go through with his wife dying of cancer: I discovered these thoughts on the internet about this movie:
1. Jack’s grief was intense. His "faith--so ardently championed in his books--was shaken to its very foundation." 7 Attenborough’s film visually captures this dark period of doubt and bitterness. The suspense builds as the viewer wonders if Lewis can continue to regard death as a simple river-crossing on a bridge built by the great Bridge Builder. Shortly after Joy’s death, Jack attends a social gathering. Everyone turns as Jack enters the room, quietly whispering, one by one, "so sorry, Jack," "so very sorry." Harry Harrington (Michael Denison) reminds him that "we see so little here." Faith, he points out, is all that sustains one. "Only God," he says, "knows why these things happen." Jack turns on him with a vengeance, angrily shouting: "We’re the creatures in the cosmic laboratory. I have no doubt the experience is for our own good, but it still makes God the villainous vivisectionist!" The film lays out the harsh reality of death.
a. Moments like this usually bring on the wave of doubt into our lives.
2. Lewis’s "Grief Observed," claims Ralph C. Wood, is "darker than anything in Kafka or Sartre." 10 Lewis accuses God of being a Cosmic Sadist, an evil tyrant. Lewis later described the book as one "which ends in faith but raises all the blackest doubts en route." 11 In the film, a drained Lewis, sitting behind his desk, voices his Grief Observed thesis. He turns to his brother and admits: "I’m so terribly afraid. Of never seeing her again. Of thinking that suffering is just suffering after all. No cause. No purpose. No pattern. No sense. Just pain, in a world of pain."
Did you see the move Shallow Hal? It is a movie about an unattractive, really shallow middle-aged man named Hal Larsen who judges women on how “hot” they are. But then one day, Hal gets stuck on a stalled elevator with a motivational guru who helps him overcome his shallowness by hypnotizing him so that he sees only the inner beauty of people. Leaving the elevator, Hal sees large, unattractive women as supermodels. When a 330 pound blonde named Rosemary shows up, to Hal she looks like. . . well like Gwyneth Paltrow. He is overcome by her kindness and humor, and she becomes the most beautiful girl in the world to him.
Somehow I think that is the way it is when God sees us. He does not even notice our weight, our shape or our nose, or if he does, we look very beautiful to him. When he comes...
EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS: RIGHT DAY, WRONG YEAR
Once there was a covenant with Noah, with Abram, with Moses, and with David, but now there is a NEW covenant written in the blood of Jesus. That promise, that contract, never expires. It is guaranteed by God's action, not our actions. The word often translated as "steadfast love" in English translations is usually reserved to describe "covenant love" or "relational love." So, in my translation, I've taken the liberty of inserting the word "contract" (I could have used loving commitment) to describe God's steady dependable love. And, the word often translated as "forever" I've indicated as "never expiring."
We all hate it when we have coupons which expire just before we get to use them (worse when we find ourselves at the restaurant or the counter before we realize they have expired). I saw part of the old television show, Everybody Hates Chris, a couple of weeks ago. The whole plot was built around the fact that the Dad had bought great tickets for a Mets-Dodgers game at a bargain price. When they get to the game, the usher won't let them in. The dad points to the date and says that it's the right date. The usher says, "Right day, wrong year!" What a letdown!
Well, we don't have to worry about this with God's promise of eternal life. The great news is that God's most incredible deal for our salvation and eternal life never expires. So, when we thank God because He is good and remember that His contracts never expire, we have an advantage over those patriarchs with whom God made other covenants.
WHAT THIS THING IS ABOUT
In "The Green Berets," the crying child mouths those weighty words, "What will happen to me now?" Captain Kirby quickly takes the child’s hand and leads him off, speaking words of reassurance: "You let me worry about that. Why, you're what this thing is about."
I would like to bring in here the story of the film “Chocolate” directed by Lasse Hallström [Heinrich Jacob, Der Prediger und Katechet, 6/2002. pages. 849-851]. A small, sleepy, and quiet french city. The inhabitants are lower-middle class, strictly moralistic, tied to tradtion, scrupulous and totally unfree internally and externally. No one dares to be different. Everyone goes to church. The mayor runs the city within the framework of rigid rules. He even corrects the Sunday sermons of the parish priest.
A young mother with her little daughter moves into this city and opens a chocolate shop at the time of Lent. She makes delicious chocolates of different types, which once tasted, no one could resist. This lady is energetic, charming, goal-oriented, sensitive and empathetic. She knows well to sell her chocolates. And she captivates the attention of the entire city.
This shop, the lady and the chocolates disturb the people, that too, at a time of fasting. People, starting with someone daring, begin to buy the chocolates. The established, ordered and the regulated life of the city is disturbed. The chocolate shop becomes the meeting point of the people of the city. There is encounter, conversation, friendship, joy and laughter. But there is also opposition. The lady is even threatened in order to leave the city. But the openness and the trust of the people for the joy and hope she brought into their lives overcome all opposition. And we see the mayor himself quietly climbing a tree to have a look at the chocolates in the shop-window. Finally all come to the shop, mayor and the priest alike. And the priest was ever after free to preach the sermons he prepared.
This story has a deeper symbolic meaning. This lady and the medium of chocolate stand for healing and happiness, for transformation and rebirth, for resurrection and for salvation. Everything in the city changes. There is a new life, a new city and a new world for the people. There begin to show up all the signs of a truly christian community: accepting others, open for friendship with strangers, giving and taking, a communicative relationship with one another and gratitude as a response to the gift of life and togetherness.
On the 4th of July, my family went to a drive in movie theater. We saw the movie "Finding Nemo". The movie was about a little fish named Nemo who swam too close to a boat. He was captured by a scuba diver and put in a fish tank in the office of a dentist. The whole movie was about Nemo’s father Marlin, crossing the ocean seeking and trying to save his Son.
God has done the same for us. Satan wants to capture us and enslave us. H...
Each of us has our own definition of what it takes to make us whole. If wholeness doesn’t make sense to you try the idea of fulfillment, contentment, satisfied, at peace, centered. A great desire of the human heart ever since Genesis 3 is, in the words of CSNY, “to get back to the garden”. Our entire culture is driven toward this Christian and non-Christian. And if you don’t believe me consider how the movies we have watched over the decades are aimed at seeking after an elusive sense of wholeness.
· “African Queen” Katherine Hepburn’s character believes in getting even with the Germans who have killed her brother
· “Gone With the Wind” we have Scarlet declaring her goal to “never be hungry again”
· “Charades” you have a search for money left behind by a murder victim.
· “Star Wars” involved us in the goal of justice and the salvation of Darth Vader by his Son.
· “The Green Mile” has healing itself as its goal. Healing for individuals and for a community.
This morning I am going to begin with a video clip from the movie “Pay it Forward”. Pay it Forward is about a 7th Grader’s plan to make a difference in the world. On the first day of school, his social studies teacher challenges the class with this assignment: “Think of an idea to change our world—and put it into action.” Trevon’s idea is called “Pay it Forward”. He immediately puts it into action by helping a homeless drug addict. As the scene opens the homeless man is trying to explain to Trevon’s mother what is going on. Pay special attention to Trevon’s explanation of his plan to the class.
Play Video clip Ch 9 (0:31:26) to Ch 10 (0:34:28)
I find in Trevon’s plan some principles from the word of God that we want to always remember and put into action in our lives. On the night before his crucifixion Jesus said to his disciples, “As I have loved you so you must love one another.” (John 13:34) He was about to commit the greatest act of kindness ever done. This sinless, precious Son of God was about to lay down his life on the cross for our salvation. And as he said to those disciples he says to you and me, “Pay it forward. As I have loved you now you go and love others.”