At The Movies: Lion
Average movies entertain us. The best ones inspire us. There’s nothing like watching a good movie. You’re caught up in the story, on the edge of your seat, feet glued to the floor, a bucket of popcorn in your lap. If you want to laugh—there’s comedy. If you want to cry—there’s a romantic movie. If you want to jump—there are scary movies. Thrills, action, drama—everything we long for, because we love stories. We long for adventure. We long for good triumphing over evil. During the At The Movie series, we will explore the Biblical themes of these popular movies by extracting biblical principles and examining spiritual truths in plot lines, stories, and characters. The point is to point you towards Jesus. The point is Jesus. Because if we focus on Him, it leads us to the right choices in life.
Something To Talk About:
In the movie, Lion, a five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family and eventually finds them. In this story we learn:
- We need others to navigate life with: It happens at some point in all of our lives. Something unexpected happens. It’s nothing you planned on. Things are no longer the same, and what once felt solid is no more. Life has thrown us a curve ball. In Lion, there was a major curve; a five year old suddenly found himself thousands of miles from his home. For us, it could be something different: relationships, financial problems to name several. It is during these times that we realize that we need others to navigate life with. The Bible reveals that God designed people to live in community and fellowship with one another. The good thing to remember is that you’re not alone. You need Jesus and you need others to lean on in tough times and in good times. Saroo had his bother and mother and then had no one until he was adopted. Having someone to do life with is better than having nobody.
- We need to stick it out: If you feel like the culture is shifting under your feet and you are powerless to get it back on track, you’re not alone. In response, some people give up hope while others struggle but fail to make real progress in overcoming their challenges. Saroo decided to find his family which was no small task. Even with technology, it was a monumental task. But he stuck to it. He kept his eye on the prize and did not let lack of early success or subsequent setbacks keep him from achieving his goal. As a result, he eventually reconnected with his family. It is the same for each of us. It is in these time that we need to stay focused on God. Even in frightening times, we can learn to stay focused on God’s direction for our lives. God will help us find His path and follow it through good times and bad, if we stick it out.
- God is looking for us as we look for Him: Saroo actively looked for his family. We hear a lot of talk about men searching for God or finding God. I would propose, though, that their search is very much related to the fact that God has first sought them. In Luke 19:10 Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Shortly before His death, Jesus told his closest followers, “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit…” (John 15:16) The most important truth in Christianity is that God loves us enough to seek us out even before we start trying to find Him. This is why it is so important that we understand how God feels about us. Every one of us started out belonging to God. I do not care what country you are from; your race; or your family’s religious preference, every child belongs to God until they come to an age of making their own mind up. God wants you to know today, right now, this minute, that He is searching for you. He has not given up on you and never will regardless of your circumstance.
- What stood out as the main points/highlights in the movie?
- What challenged you? What questions did it raise for you?
- Are there aspects of the story that resonated with your own experience or with the experience of others in a similar situation?
- Are there biblical or theological themes or characters that come to mind?
- Why is it important for Christians to be intentional about community? How would you rate your experience in small groups to date?
- Small groups are not some extraordinary social experience. What do you see as the principle role of small groups?
- How do you stick to it when times get tough?
- God sought us out first: what examples have you experienced in real life?
- Are there ways you already practice God’s presence without realizing it? Give an example. How do you most often experience God? How do you think you’ve come to experience God this way?
Take one thing home with you:
Remembering the least of these.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus and His followers constantly pursued those who seemed far from God and forgotten by society. He invested a lot of His time into the “least of these:” the poor, the hungry, the broken, the weak and the people who had absolutely nothing to offer Him. Saroo serves as an example of that group. Like the movie, it is easy to walk by people in need, and by doing so, we miss an amazing opportunity to experience Jesus. There is life, love and opportunities to become just a little bit more like Jesus today and serve people we fail to see in our peripheral. To encounter a person who otherwise might be ignored or disregarded is truly to encounter the living presence of Christ. Jesus is entrusting the poor, the most vulnerable in society, to our care. My prayer is that the Lord will open your eyes to see His face in the faces of people who are down and out, disadvantaged, or challenged in other ways.