Yesterday afternoon I and some of our teens from REZ took time to go see the new movie, To Save A Life. It is a compelling and disturbing, if honest, look at the cultures within our high schools and the struggle with those cultures by those who minister in Christ's name to teens. Centering around the problem of Teen Suicide, the movie is set at a typical suburban high school with the identifiable groups of "jocks", "preps", "dopers" and the "loners." The story traces Jake's rise to fame in sports and the childhood friend he "left behind" in that rise. After that friend commits suicide at the school, Jake is in search mode because of the guilt. An encounter with the pastor who did the funeral leads to a growing relationship and discovery of a new way of living. In the process he reaches out to another "loner", Johnny, in an attempt to make some difference, where he hadn't in his best friend's life before. High School and family drama ensue in Jake's life, through which he comes with help from God and the pastor and other friends from church.
The movie is a close up look at the culture of exclusion that we see in high schools (and have from time immemorial) and the counter-culture of inclusion, unconditional love and right choices offered by the church and youth pastor. These come, not without struggle, to those who persevere in "doing the right thing."
On this Sunday, Sanctity of Life is being celebrated across the nation in churches of all denominations. We focus on the threat of abortion, as I think is called for, but a wider view will lead us to understand the sanctity of Living. Life is not simply about our "right" to exist once conceived in the womb, but it is our further need for belonging and meaning, fulfillment and purpose. So much of the later depends on how we treat one another day-to-day. How we choose to live is what constitutes our life. The message of the movie is that "life" does not consist in your achievements, success or things. It is in our relationships and connection with one another and God that "life" becomes abundant.
So I suggest that today and from here on out we live our lives with a view toward God and others around us. That was Jesus way of living and loving. It would serve us well to remember His model and ask Him to help us live His way.
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