Northstar Presents At The Movies –  The Impossible 

Introduction:

“The Impossible” is a film about a family torn apart and dying. One moment they are on an island vacation, and the next they are subjects of a cruel, natural disaster. It is based on a real story that started December 26th, 2004 when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit. The story is about the father and mother and three sons and their individual and collective struggle for survival amid horrid devastation. It is not an easy movie to watch – neither for survivors or for movie goers. But it is real. Honest. And has a real message on being lost and then found.

Most people love a good story. Life stories are engaging, especially when they are true stories such as the events that happened to the Belón family during the movie The Impossible. What was it like to be in the swirling “washing machine like” swell of waves and water, wondering if you ever breathe air again. And secondly, the sense of grief and frustration by so many people who wandered around for the 72 hours following the first wave, looking for missing family members. And finally, the joy of finding the person you thought was lost forever.  Because it is a true story, it is easy to identify and to feel for what the family is going through and to share the joy when they are reunited. 

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?   

In Luke 15 we read the story of the lost sheep. In this story, the shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to go look for the one sheep that is missing. On the surface that seems like poor management to the 21st century business person. If a shepherd were to leave the 99 to their own devices while he ran off after the 100th sheep, doesn’t he run the very real risk of losing some of the 99. Yet, the shepherd in the parable wasn’t willing to lose even one sheep. He was prepared to risk everything for the sake of finding that sheep. And then what does he do when he finds the sheep? In the words of Jesus, “then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” (Luke 15:6). There are two takeaways from this and the other parables in Luke 15:

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 not only the respectable who have never really strayed away – but also the rebels, those who have thumbed their nose at God and wandered away. The Good News is that although we maybe lost, we are never lost from the love of God. God is passionately concerned for each one of us, whatever we may have done. For God in His great love has sent His Son to seek and to save the lost. God’s passion for the lost is indeed truly amazing.

We need to be passionate for the lost:. 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 the 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. Indeed as we learned in the parable, the more outside the Kingdom the person is, the move He loves you. 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. Would you say your life is more of an inward or an outward focus? 
  3. What does it mean to have a passion for others? Do you believe that neutrality is an option?
  4. When taking communion and 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?
  5. 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?
  6. What can we do this week to raise our passion for the lost levels?

Take One Thing Home with You:

If you read Romans chapter 9, you will get a clear understanding of Paul’s burning passion for lost souls. Paul says in Romans 8 that “nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39) The unthinkable shock Paul was facing is that the vast majority of the Jews, in spite of their many religious privileges and experiences, rejected the gospel. 

Paul bares his soul at the very beginning of chapter 9: “I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises…”

Do we have a Romans 9 kind of burden for those far from the heart of God? Our attitude toward those who are lost shows us a lot about our Christianity and it shows us about where our heart is. Paul shows us here a heart of agony over his people who are lost. We should as well.