Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Movie Moments

There are two questions that I ask when someone recommends a movie to me:
Is it worth watching?
Is the ending sad?
I don't like watching sad movies. I empathize too much and usually end up crying. But most of all, they tend to leave me feeling helpless and hopeless.

Have you ever wanted to have that movie moment and it just didn't pan out? Some really romantic kiss with that guy or girl? Or that perfect ending to the big game? Or that big group of friends that are so close it is unreal? I think we watch movies to give us a taste of life that we often don't experience. (As well as mindless entertainment.) A family favorite growing up was The Mighty Ducks 2. The best part comes at the end after the team has won the game and the credits are rolling. The team is sitting around a campfire roasting smores, arms around one another, and singing "We Are the Champions" at the top of their lungs. I always wanted a moment like amazing victory with awesome people. My own personal movie moment. Perfection personified.

Unfortunately, Hollywood is not real life. But those movie moments that are perfect, that make us desire something more than just the status quo - they give us something to HOPE for. Sad movies often follow our postmodern philosophy of "live and let live" which I translate as "life sucks and then you die." Now seriously, why would you want to watch a movie that sends that message? I want a story that gives me hope. My moments won't be perfect, and I don't care to have them rehearsed before I get to them. It kind of kills the spontaneity. I want a movie moment that, at the end, makes me feel like I have learned something, grown in some way, or can walk away with a new understanding and a deep sense of contentment and joy. I don't want a movie moment that is a depiction of life without Jesus - a life of sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness. Look at the amazing HOPE in these verses.

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." Romans 5:3-5

My life as a movie has sad moments, moments when I am deliriously happy, moments when I am confused and hurt and content and excited. But at the end of the day, no matter how good or how bad...I lay down and sleep knowing that I have HOPE. If I died today, I would spend eternity - forever and ever - with Jesus. There are no doubts. It is a deep, reassuring knowledge and HOPE.

Look at more of this passage...

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8

Those movie moments that are sad are the result of a lack of power to change a certain situation. We can't fix everything! I know that is a hard concept for me to grasp sometimes. And none of us are good people. We live in a culture where we daily struggle with the "live and let live" philosophy. But here is the HOPE in the rest of that passage... While we were still these messed up powerless people, the Christ of the Universe, the Son of God died for you!!! If you truly understand and believe that, you will understand that final movie moment that leaves you with HOPE! And it is a HOPE that is 100% guaranteed to be fulfilled!

Look at verse 5 again. That hope does not disappoint because Christ has poured out His love in our hearts so that we understand that our HOPE in Him and His promises is safe. I can and will have my movie moment, no matter how many rough movie moments I experience here on earth. I have a future HOPE. And daily, I remember that that HOPE is JESUS CHRIST. I pray that you will walk away from a life of pointlessness and hopelessness to a life that is promised HOPE fulfillment.

Thankful that Jesus is HOPE,


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