Here is my take on one of the areas of Fallen Kingdom that helps teach us a nugget about Setups.
We are continuing the conversation on beauty. Our group talked about the distortion last time. Next we turned our attention to the idea that only 2% of women think they are beautiful.
Peter (one of the Biblical letter writers) talked about inner beauty. It made us wonder how much thinking you are beautiful helps make you appear beautiful.
Which led us to watching this video. (Warning, there are some foul words ahead.)
Among the things we noticed from the experience of watching:
-Many of the subjects lit up upon hearing that they were considered beautiful. Which made them even more beautiful. This is some of that inner stuff leaking out.
-We were struck by the guy who at first lit up, but then decided he didn’t believe Shea. How often do we do the same thing with any received compliment? First feel good, then rationalize it away.
How twisted is that as a defense mechanism? To choose not to believe a compliment rather than risk confirming what we are already thinking.
-Like the woman who got angry; so far from thinking she could possibly be beautiful that she defaults to assuming that a compliment is an attack.
Shea unveils a hidden truism in her experiment – everyone is made beautiful.
God made us beautiful. Yet we struggle to believe this is true.
As people of faith, we know that God made everyone uniquely gorgeous. What if part of our view of evangelism was simply letting people know that?
What if being part of church included feeling like a worthy work of art?
What if when we look at people outside the church, we see their beauty before we see them as anything else?
What would that do for the image of the Bride of Christ?
Another topic my Sunday School attacked was how our culture approaches the concept of beauty. We approached this in three steps. First, we looked at the distortion of beauty. Here is our kick-off quote.
It was pointed out that 2% of women consider themselves to be beautiful. Thanks to Dove, we had an insight to how natural our concept of the benchmark of beauty is. Check out this short:
Nothing new, we’ve known this goes on for a while now. As “All About the Bass” reinforces, “we know that ish ain’t real, come on now make it stop.” But despite knowing it ain’t real, we still as a culture fall into the trap of seeing this as natural beauty.
What does our faith tell us about this?
No mention of photoshop or even makeup. Guess Peter wasn’t hip to the media. Notice the qualities that are in focus: your looks from the inside. The “who” one is is more than important than the “what” one looks like.
So when talking about beauty, we have to realize that we are starting in distortion; we are trained to see beauty in all the wrong ways. This means we need to work at seeing rightly.
We need to work at it.
Think on that for a while. I’ll take on part two shortly.
Wait, that just sounds wrong.
Justin Garcia was the first to name the character; Clark Cranfill the first to figure out which one. As you can see from the pic, an Asbury alum worked on the film.
Last week, I talked about the sacrificial love of a dinosaur and a fox.
Our Sunday School class continued the conversation, pointing out that we were limiting ourselves in our discussion. It was pointed out that Christ did not have the same limitations we do on the definition of “friend.”
Now we are in harder territory – loving the stranger. Or worse, the guy we choose to keep as a stranger.
For solace, we turned to the great story teller, Walter Wangerin Jr., and his story of the Ragman.
Pretty powerful stuff. Walt has that way, of getting in.
So that is the dilemma we left hanging in our Sunday School. If we aren’t strong enough to follow Christ in sacrificially loving those that we know and hold close – how do we transfer the love of God to those we hold only at a distance, if at all?
The Bible says we can only love because we have been loved. Can we realize that deep enough, strong enough, real enough to live lives of sacrifice?
What would the world think of our church if we actually did as we were told?
We have a winner – Dan Madison correctly identified this prop:
Our Sunday School class at Wilmore Free Methodist (apparently they don’t charge, like those other Methodists do. I may be hazy on the theological meaning of “free.”) focuses on the intersection of culture and Biblical faith.
One Sunday was devoted to love – and we started by watching “Lost & Found.” If you haven’t seen it, take the time now.
Watched it? Good. Cried a little? That just means you have a heart.
We disagreed on whether the video was moving and depressing; or moving and uplifting. I vote for uplifting – fox will succeed in her knitting project.
We then talked about the short in terms of the two forms of sacrificial love shown – by the dinosaur, willing to give his life to save his friend; and by the fox, willing to give up her life so dinosaur wouldn’t have to.
No-brainer on how to connect this to our faith – and our supreme example. The challenge came when we stopped looking at our role models, and looked more inward, at our own willingness to show this level of love.
Not so easy to honestly answer which friends we love enough to unravel for; and which ones we just wished we loved that much.
Then we hit a snag, when we realized that our examples of dinosaur and fox, as beautiful as they are, fell short of the kind of thing that Jesus was actually talking about.
To be continued…
One of the many marvelous things about my school (Asbury University) is the Communications building is a veritable museum of film props, costumes, sets, posters and history.
So with the relaunch of my blog, I am starting a new feature: What’s this from? I show you a prop/costume/etc, you tell me the movie/tv show/etc. it came from.
First up – the prop is on the left; Dean Jim Owens is covering up the answer card.
(For those in Wilmore – no cheating by looking up the card or knowing from the tour!)
Send in your guesses.