I love a good movie. Don't you?
The stories told in film have the power to inspire us, to move us, to make us laugh or cry. Sometimes the stories we discover give us a new perspective or cause us to think about our life and faith in a fresh way. Sometimes movies simply entertain us. Sometimes they tell a story that contradicts God's story.
The question is: How often do you stop to reflect on the stories you experience in the movies?
Do you notice when a story resonates with God's story and when it doesn't?
Each August at Marine View, we stop to consider the stories told in the movies through a sermon series we call: Faith-in-Film. We look at movies and use the stories we find as a tool to explore our faith in Jesus Christ.
There are a few key reasons why I believe this sermon series is a good idea and why you should plan to attend.
First, God speaks to us in a variety of different ways, and we ought to be on the lookout for the message of His truth all around us. When a story helps us think about or understand the good news of God’s love in a deeper way, that's a good thing. We call these sorts of experiences of God's story in the world around us - secular parables,
Second, we stop to take a look at the stories told in film because movies are the language of our culture. Our friends and neighbors are watching movies, quoting movies, they know the stories well - we want to be able to engage with people where they are and in a way that makes sense to them and is relevant to their lives. The themes we discover in movies can be a great way to start a conversation about faith or begin a friendship.
Third, as followers of Jesus we need to be critical thinkers. Instead of passively taking in the stories told on TV and in the movies, we should engage actively, critically and thoughtfully with the themes and messages we experience. We should be able to see how the stories and messages line up with Scripture, how they are the same, how they are different. What is like God’s story and what isn’t? If we aren’t critical and thoughtful about the things we take in, over time we may begin to experience a shift in our beliefs, values, or behaviors that looks less like God’s plan and more like the culture around us.
A final reason you should plan to participate - movies are fun and they provide a creative way to explore God's word together on Sunday mornings. So turn off the cell phone, get the popcorn and licorice ready, your movie is about to begin!
Which movie/story are you most looking forward to exploring together during this series?