Summer At The Movies Part 6: 


On Sunday 28th August at our morning service, we continued our Summer series 'Summer At The Movies'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.

To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.

We started our service by watching a Youtube clip with the trailer for The Croods. You can watch that by clicking here.

Talk Summary

I don’t handle change well. I get a phone and get used to how it works if I need to replace it I want one the same. I don’t like it when I find that my food is “new improved”. This is usually a lie. It is not improved…I no longer like it.! How about you are you like me or do you love new stuff, want upgrades and new and improved. Or perhaps you embrace some kinds of change but others you find difficult.

Life today is changing very quickly.
Not just scientific and technological advances, but also about societal changes. This can bring a sense of insecurity or even fear. When change is happening fast we need a constant to hold on to. In times of change we cope with the stuff that we can’t stop changing by trying to hold back change in other areas. Sameness can help to give us a sense of stability. 

In “The Croods” The father’s saw change as deadly, something to avoid at all costs. His answer was to fear it and to hide in his cave seeking safety in the darkness. But is there something else that can give us the stability and security we all need? What firm foundation is it possible to have? Jesus tells a story that addresses this idea of a strong foundation that stands up under the storms and changes of life. It comes at the end of what we know as the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is teaching about all sorts of things; forgiveness, giving to the poor, judging others, loving your enemies etc. 

Our reading was from Matthew 7:24-29: The wise and foolish builders. You can read that by clicking here.

In the teaching that Jesus brought, people heard things that were new.
He often began what he was saying with “you have heard it said… but I tell you” or “it has been said… but I say”. He was taking the teaching and progressing it, modernising it. For example, his challenge to move from an “eye for an eye” culture, to a “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemies” culture. This is hard especially as they were living under an unjust regime. The people would be perturbed. 
Jesus teachings were rooted in what they would have been brought up with. These teachings were the foundation of their culture and at the heart of their education system. It gave them their spiritual and national identity. Jesus was disturbing the status quo; upsetting their equilibrium. He was also talking to people in a Roman occupied country. They were already disturbed and afraid, with changes to laws, authority and a different social structure; wondering who to trust. So what would help them to cope with the changes? Jesus tells them that the foundation that will stand when the storms come is adhering to what he is teaching them. This will be the rock that they can depend on. He is not saying that the foundation is hearing, understanding or even debating this teaching. He is telling them that the foundation to build on is living it.
“… everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” 

We need to read and reread these instructions and live our life by them.

His teachings were boiled down to 2 commands: Love God with all that you are and have and love your neighbour as you love yourself.  Don’t be tempted to slip into prejudice or revenge, bitterness or unforgiveness. Do what Jesus tells you to. Don’t be deflected.
You can face any changes if your life is built on doing life Jesus way.

So I wonder what happens to Grug In the film? The world is literally changing around him. The continents are shifting volcanoes erupting, change is everywhere. Grug steps out into the unknown understanding that; “The point of all this is to follow the light.” In Grug’s case it was the sunlight. In our case, it is the “light of the world” Jesus.

When you are tempted to resist changes, to hide from them remember Grug who didn’t hide in a cave any more, but followed the light.
You can face any changes if your life is built on doing life Jesus way. 


Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)

Read  Matthew 7:24-29 over a few times

1.    What is it from this story that strikes you? What word phrase or idea?
        Why do you think that is?

2.    What sorts of changes to you find most threatening?

3.    What sorts of areas do welcome change or find easier to deal with?

4.    Why do you think that is?

5.    How do you think that living life Jesus way could bring stability?

6.    What prevents you from living Jesus way?

7.    What could you do to change this?

Steph Littlejohn, 07/09/2016