Posts Tagged ‘Frozen’

Sermon 03-22-15: “King, Crown & Cross, Part 5: Passover Lamb”

March 31, 2015

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During his Last Supper, Jesus used the Passover to help communicate the meaning of his death. Apart from Christ’s atoning death, all of us sinners deserve the deadly judgment that came upon the Egyptians—and worse, hell itself. The good news is that God sent his very self—Jesus, God the Son—to be our substitutionary sacrifice—our Passover lamb.

Sermon Text: Mark 14:22-31

[If you want to listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3.]

The following is my original sermon manuscript with footnotes.

I was at home last Thursday afternoon when my son Townshend rushed in to tell me that Georgia State was making a game of it against the heavily favored Baylor in the opening round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. How is that possible? A 14-seed versus a three-seed? As you probably heard, Georgia State won the game. They were down by two with seconds left, when R.J. Hunter sank a very long three-pointer to put GSU over the top. A big upset! And the upsets continue. Yesterday, I saw the eight-seed N.C. State defeat number-one seed Villanova.

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And this is why we love March Madness—because unexpected, even shocking victories can take place.

In today’s scripture, on this night of Jesus’ arrest by the temple guard, hours before he’s handed over to the Romans for his trial, his beating, his scourging, his mocking, followed by his crucifixion, Jesus is working on the biggest upset victory in history—a victory no one would have predicted. Everyone, including his closest friends and disciples, were caught off guard—first by Good Friday and then, especially, by Easter Sunday.

And in today’s scripture they were caught off guard—shocked, even—by Jesus’ words during this Passover meal, when he held up the bread and said, “This is my body.” And when he held up the wine and said, “This is my blood.” Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 07-06-14: “Disney Summer Drive-In, Part 1: Frozen”

July 10, 2014

Disney Summer Drive-In Image

The first film I look at in this summer series is Disney’s Frozen. In this movie, Elsa longs to be free of the fears that control her. Despite her best efforts, however, she remains enslaved—at least until her sister, Anna, shows her the true meaning of love.

Sermon Text: Matthew 11:25-30

The following is my original sermon manuscript with footnotes.

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After healing Anna, the chief troll warns the family of Elsa’s increasing powers.

[Show Clip #1. Elsa accidentally strikes Anna with her ice magic. Their parents take them to the chief troll, who heals Anna but warns Elsa and her parents about Elsa’s growing power.]

The chief troll asks Elsa’s father, the king, about Elsa’s power to create snow and ice. He asks, “Born with the powers or cursed?” The father responds, “Born.” But the truth is, for most of the movie we’re left wondering whether these powers with which Elsa is born are also, in fact, a curse. It certainly feels like a curse to Elsa as she’s growing up. Granted, her parents don’t help the situation by locking her away in her room—isolating her from everyone, including her beloved sister Anna. But it’s clear that for most of her early life, Elsa experienced this potentially great gift—this great blessingas a curse.

The truth is, so many things that happen to us in life—things we’re born with, or things over which we have little or no control—can be experienced by us as either blessings or curses. Contemporary Christian singer-songwriter Laura Story wrote her most popular song, “Blessings,” about this truth. It includes these lyrics in the chorus: “What if your blessings come through rain drops/ What if your healing comes through tears/ What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near/ What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?” Read the rest of this entry »