Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"For the Birds" (Ephesians 2:11-22)

“For the Birds” was the seventh short film released by Pixar studios, those people who brought you Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and others. It won the Academy Award for best-animated short, the third of these shorts to win that prize for the studio. It is the story of a flock of birds that begin to tease a strange lone bird about how different he is. As they torment him, they set into motion their own just desserts.

This is a central message in the letter to the Ephesians. It focuses on an aspect of Paul’s teaching that should be central to the Christian life. In the first part of chapter two, Paul talked about how salvation changes us as individuals. In the second half he shows that it also changes us as a group. The sad thing is that many Christians—generally the ones that forget what Christianity really is and start acting like a religion—are a lot like this little flock of jerky birds. However it is not just the religious Christians of the world that are depicted here. This is a human problem. We all enjoy bettering our own status by belittling and ostracizing those who are in any way different.

God’s purposes in enacting His Gospel plan were bigger than merely saving an individual as we so often like to imagine. In addition to saving people from their sin, death and the reality of Hell He was reconciling humanity to itself. He was making unity and peace possible. That is something all believers need to keep in mind, especially when they see a particularly different or “judgable” person. Let this film be a reminder and a warning.

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