Sermon Illustrations

Two films. The 2014 film “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and the earlier “Lilo and stitch”.

In the Dawn of the Planet of the apes, small groups of human beings and intelligent apes have both survived a deadly plague. A group of humans trying to restart a hydro electric generator stumble across the apes. Fear grips hold.

A man called Carver left alone at the truck first spies the apes - he reacts in fear and shoots the ape Ash. It takes all the might of the scientist Malcolm to calm things down, and to persuade the ape leader Caesar to let them start work on the dam. Then some of the apes spy the human armoury and fear takes hold. A preemptive strike must be made. But Caesar prefers peace. So another ape Koba manipulates the other apes through fear - He burns a hut and shoots Caesar and blames humans. Despite the best efforts of the ape Ash and the human Malcom (and indeed Caesar when he recovers) to work for peace, fear has taken it grip and war follows.

Contrast Lilo and Stitch. The film begins with two orphaned sisters. The grown up Nani looks after the troubled younger sister Lilo, but despite the efforts of social services to take Lilo away, Nani refuses to give up on her younger sister because

Lilo somehow ends up adopted the genetically engineered alien Stitch, mistaking him for a dog. Stitch has been designed to destroy. But because of the love she has received, Lilo shows Stitch love. Stitch is drawn in to Ohana and….

And so Stitch is impossibly changed from violence through love to love. As St John of the Cross put it “where there is no love, put love and you will find love”.

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