Today is the final installment of our summer sermon series entitled Holy Hollywood! Movies with a Message. We are looking at some movies that communicate meaningful messages and acknowledging that, while movies are oftentimes made to help us escape reality, God often times uses those same movies to prepare us to experience new realities that can make our lives more full and faithful.
A lot of what Hollywood produces is pure fantasy. But if you really pay attention you will see that much of what they release does in many ways mimic real life, even the fantasies. In fact, Hollywood has just been one of many who have tried to help humanity explore the real meaning of life. And while I don’t have THE answer, certainly part of the answer is that life is meant to be an adventure!
The reading for this week is Matthew 5:17-20. In this reading, Jesus makes it clear that he did not come to do away with the law, but fulfill it. In this light, we will look at some of the Law (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers) that speak to God’s expectation concerning “aliens” (Not E.T. but people not like ourselves.)
Is it true that God is present at all times and in all places? Is it true that all things are possible for God? Is it true that God can and does use ordinary people and things to do some extraordinary things? The answers are…Yes…Yes…and Yes! Including even some of the movies that Hollywood has produced over the years. We all know that the way things happen in movies isn’t always the way real life happens (scripted, rehearsed, retakes, editing, etc.)…but it is true that “Art often imitates real life." And it is also true that God sometimes uses art to teach us truths about our real lives! Which is why this summer we are going to look at some movies that communicate important and helpful messages (whether they meant to or not). And to acknowledge that movies aren’t always meant to help us escape reality…but to prepare us to experience new realities that can make our lives nominees for “Best Picture”!
Our adult mission trip team that went to Lebanon in May 2019 shares their stories.