Northstar Presents At The Movies –  The Impossible

Introduction:

“The Impossible” is a powerful film about human tenacity, about surviving against all odds in the face of death, about salvaging and hanging out to the last bit of hope when life has little of it to offer. One moment, the Belon family are on an island vacation, and the next they are subjects of a cruel, natural disaster. It is based on a real story of a father and mother and three sons and their individual and collective struggle for survival amid horrid devastation. What was it like to be in the swirling “washing machine like” swell of waves and water, wondering if you will ever breathe air again. There is the agony and terror of a family that is separated, worry made worse by physical injury. They wonder if their loved ones are dead, or about to be dead or maybe they wonder if they themselves are going to die. The family wanders around looking for missing family members, finding the courage and time to help others along the way. And finally, the joy of finding the people you thought were lost forever.   

Something To Talk About:

What about the people who are lost all around us? It is a tragedy to live a life without Jesus Christ. The question is – what are we doing about it?   

The Impossible establishes the Belon’s as people of privilege. They fly business class. Maria gets snippy about having a sea view from her room, and husband and wife have an awkwardly scripted conversation about whether she should go back to her job as a doctor after taking several years off to have children. They blandly accept the luxury of their Thai holiday complex while Henry, the husband, then broods over work emails on his smartphone. But everything was drowned out by a deafening roar and Maria watched in horror as a towering wave pushed in from the sea and ripped through the hotel. They found themselves in a storm that is nondiscriminating. They find themselves lost. 

God is passionate about the lost: And God’s passion for each of us is inclusive. He loves not only the righteous, but also the unrighteous. He loves those who have never really strayed away – but also the rebels, those who have thumbed their nose at God and wandered away. God is passionately concerned for each one of us, whatever we may have done. God’s passion for the lost is indeed truly amazing.

We in turn should be equally passionate for the lost – as God gave His all for us, so we too should give our all to others. In light of this parable and the movie, we should be more concerned about others around us. Since God is passionate about the lost – and he wants us to be equally passionate about the lost – we need to ask ourselves what we are doing to win people to Jesus. We may just need to sow a seed by inviting the person to church, or to listen, or to provide unsolicited acts of kindness or to begin building a relationship. And we can’t give up at the first sign of indifference or rejection. We all love happy endings and in The Impossible, the family is reunited after all their struggles. It was worth all the pain and worry. There is nothing God loves more than when the lost are found. Nothing gives God greater joy than welcoming the sinner home.

Questions:

  1. What did you find compelling in The Impossible movie? What lessons of faith and courage can be gleaned from the movie?
  2. What does it mean to have a passion for others? Do you believe that neutrality is an option?
  3. When remembering the price Jesus paid for us, what do we learn about how great His love is for people still lost and hurting who live right across the street from us? How should that love drive our actions?
  4. Can you think of examples from the scripture of how Jesus prioritized His life around the mission field? How did His disciples prioritize their lives around the mission field? How should we?
  5. What can we do this week to raise our passion for the lost?

Take One Thing Home with You:

The tsunami resulted in at least 227,898 fatalities. The Belon family very nearly were additional statistics. But those statistics are people. How do we look at the lost? Are they statistics? Are they simply additional numbers in the total number of people who do not attend church or believe in Jesus Christ? Are those we know just part of that total? And the still bigger question is, do we treat them as statistics? Do they become just background scenario in our daily lives? It seems impossible when the numbers are so large. It is worth the effort to win one person to Jesus. But, it often requires more work than we expect.

You meet someone and after a few conversations – at work, or school or in the neighborhood – you invite the person to church. They explain that they have a lot going on, but thanks for the invite anyway. What they are actually saying is probably something like this: “Since you are not taking an interest in what interests me, how do you expect me to take an interest in what interests you.” It is great that we invite someone to church but is that as far as our Christian interest extends? It’s almost like we have fulfilled our responsibilities to them.  Most people will not drop all their beliefs just to accept yours. We need to show an interest in what’s interesting to them, instead of expecting them to be interested in Jesus the first time we mention the Savior’s name. Some people believe that spending time with non-believers is conforming to the world. (Romans 12:2)

People matter to God so they should matter to us. They are not statistics. God Himself became a man and left us an example of how we should care for the lost, then exhorted us to follow in His steps. Jesus stated His purpose, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10). We should make His mission our mission.