Emptied & Humbled: Finding Nemo – Glory

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Lent is about glory. Yes, Lent is all about the “happy ending,” and the “they lived happily ever after.”

This is true in Finding Nemo, and this is true in Philippians.

As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every nameso that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Notice the “as a result” comment. As a result of the emptying and as a result of the humbling, God the Father did something. God exalted Jesus and gave him the name that is above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow: not may bow and not can bow, will bow.

And every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Why? For the Glory of God the Father.

The glory – even Jesus’ – comes as a result of the suffering.

Just like Marlin found Nemo, just like Nemo learned that his dad loves him and wants what is best for him, and just like Dory found community, they all had to suffer first.

But this is far more important than knowing that suffering precedes glory.

Don’t miss that you will bow and you will confess. I implore you, empty yourself and humble yourself now. Get right with God. Get right with your family and friends.

Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest? Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandmentThe second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

Lent is the perfect time to remember this – love God. Love others.

But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Did you know I wrote a whole devotional based on Finding Nemo? You can check out Sharing God’s Story with Finding Nemo over at Amazon.

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Get my free e-book, How to See God’s Story in Movies. This free download will help you share God’s story with your kids and students by showing you how to see God’s story in movies.

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to Time Travel.”

And be sure to check out my About page for more info on what I do around here at Reel Parables.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Emptied & Humbled: Finding Nemo – Identity

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Lent is about identity. What we choose and what we sacrifice says a lot about who we really are. So, who are you?

Finding Nemo has a rebellious son and a scared, but loving, father.

It also has Dory.

Dory is easily a fan favorite. She is funny, she is sweet, and she is sympathetic. We just like her. But she is also a pretty good picture of the Holy Spirit.

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

This translation uses the word Advocate, yours may say Helper or even Counselor.

In Greek, the work is παράκλητος or Paraclete in English. A Paraclete is someone who “comes alongside.” Think someone who comes alongside of you to help you, hence the translator that chose Helper.

This idea – this visual – fits nicely with what Jesus says in Matthew 11.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you restTake my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soulsFor my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Notice that those in the yoke are side-by-side. They come alongside each other to make the load or burden less.

One does not carry the load. They do it together.

Marlin did not have to find Nemo on his own. He, too, had a Paraclete. He had someone come alongside him to help him Marlin had Dory.

Sure, she is comic relief, but she is also very much Marlin’s helper.

It is because of her that he ultimately find Nemo.

Dory is Marlin’s Helper. Dory is Marlin’s Paraclete.

Marlin had Dory. We have the Holy Spirit.

So what does this have to do with identity?

But it is God who establishes us together with you in Christ and who anointed us, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

We are God’s because of Jesus. God the Father gives us the down payment of the Holy Spirit to show us that it is true. We may not yet be with God forever, but God is already with us.

Did you know I wrote a whole devotional based on Finding Nemo? You can check out Sharing God’s Story with Finding Nemo over at Amazon.

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Get my free e-book, How to See God’s Story in Movies. This free download will help you share God’s story with your kids and students by showing you how to see God’s story in movies.

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to Time Travel.”

And be sure to check out my About page for more info on what I do around here at Reel Parables.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Emptied & Humbled: Finding Nemo – Death

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Lent is about death. Sometimes it is the ultimate sacrifice and a literal death, like in Frozen. Sometimes it is the death of pride, a dream, ego, or ambition.

This was true for Marlin.

Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humilitybe moved to treat one another as more important than yourselfEach of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Marlin wanted to keep Nemo and himself safe. But when Nemo literally got caught in disobedience, Marlin let his own wants and ambitions die.

Marlin left the safety of the reef – his home – to go find his son.

Marlin thought more of his son’s needs than his own.

What about you?

Do you need to let some dream, ambition, desire, or want die?

What are you holding on to that needs to die?

Did you know I wrote a whole devotional based on Finding Nemo? You can check out Sharing God’s Story with Finding Nemo over at Amazon.

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Get my free e-book, How to See God’s Story in Movies. This free download will help you share God’s story with your kids and students by showing you how to see God’s story in movies.

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to Time Travel.”

And be sure to check out my About page for more info on what I do around here at Reel Parables.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Emptied & Humbled: Finding Nemo – Sacrifice

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Lent is about sacrifice. It is a time for us to contemplate and to consider what Jesus did for us. These last few weeks we’ve looked at Philippians 2 through the eyes of Spider-man 2, Wreck-it Ralph, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Frozen. This week we are looking at Philippians through Finding Nemo.

Nemo is lost because he disobeyed his father. And yet it is his father who will sacrifice to find Nemo.

Marlin feels safe in his community. But because Nemo got caught, Marlin sacrifices his own ambition – to stay safe in his community – to go find his son.

Marlin left something – and somewhere – to save Nemo.

So did Jesus.

Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility,be moved to treat one another as more important than yourselfEach of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be graspedbut emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himselfby becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:3-8)

Jesus left heaven. He left the Father. He emptied himself and humbled himself to save us.

Just like Nemo’s dad, Marlin. He left his home to go find his lost son.

Just like the woman who searched for her lost coin, just like the shepherd that searched for his lost sheep, and just like the father looking for his son, Jesus was born the Son of Man to save us.

Today, remember that Jesus sacrificed himself to save you.

 

Did you know I wrote a whole devotional based on Finding Nemo? You can check out Sharing God’s Story with Finding Nemo over at Amazon.

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Get my free e-book, How to See God’s Story in Movies. This free download will help you share God’s story with your kids and students by showing you how to see God’s story in movies.

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to Time Travel.”

And be sure to check out my About page for more info on what I do around here at Reel Parables.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Emptied & Humbled: Finding Nemo – Choice

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Lent is about choice. Peter Parker/Spider-man wanted to keep a job, get good grades in school, and to get the girl. Ralph wanted to be part of the community. The Guardians of the Galaxy each wanted something specific, but all related to their shared purpose. Anna simply wanted to play with her sister.

In Finding Nemo, Nemo and his dad, Marlin, want two very different things. Marlin wants to protect Nemo (his wife, Nemo’s mom, was attacked and killed) and Nemo wants to spread his fins and have an adventure.

Finding Nemo fits nicely with Jesus’ “Lost” parables in Luke 15. After all, the title is Finding Nemo.

As we’ve seen with the other movies – which all retell Philippians 2 – we all make choices all the time.

Marlin made a choice to protect his son, Nemo. When Nemo’s mom was attacked and killed, Marlin purposed to protect his son.

Nemo, however, didn’t like what he thought was “over-protecting” and chose to disobey his dad.

It is this disobedience that leads to Nemo getting lost.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

Nemo was quite literally entangled by his sin.

Nemo is captured by the diver because he broke his father’s rules.

Nemo went too far – crossed the line – and was captured.

While we all make choices, some of us (like Nemo) do not make good ones.

Let me ask you this as we near the end of Lent:

What choices are you making that you already know are bad choices?

How have you crossed the line?

What sins currently entangle you?

Did you know I wrote a whole devotional based on Finding Nemo? You can check out Sharing God’s Story with Finding Nemo over at Amazon.

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Get my free e-book, How to See God’s Story in Movies. This free download will help you share God’s story with your kids and students by showing you how to see God’s story in movies.

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to Time Travel.”

And be sure to check out my About page for more info on what I do around here at Reel Parables.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Emptied & Humbled: Frozen – Glory

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Lent is about glory! The choices, the sacrifice, and the death all lead to the glory. That’s right, glory comes as the result of the choices, the sacrifice, and the death.

As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every nameso that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11, emphasis mine)

As a result of Jesus’ emptying and humbling, God the Father exalted him, all for the Father’s glory.

Suffering is first, glory is second. The glory is the result, the reward.

We see the same in Frozen with Anna’s resurrection, Arendelle’s restoration, and Anna’s and Elsa’s reunion.

Anna Lives!

We hear early in Frozen that only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart. First, we think that this true love is Hans, then Kristoff. But in the end, it is Anna who shows an act of true love. In the end, we see that “true love” is far more than just a romantic love. Instead, true love is a sacrificial love.

It is this act of true love – it is this sacrifice – that can thaw a frozen heart.

The last breath, because of her sacrifice, turns into the breath of life.

Just like with Jesus, death has been defeated! Anna lives!

Where, O death, is your victoryWhere, O death, is your sting? (I Corinthians 15:55)

Because Jesus lives, we can live also!

Arendelle Restored

Remember, the world of Arendelle was cursed with a never-ending Winter. Because of Elsa’s actions, the world was cursed.

But because of Anna’s sacrifice, the world was restored back to its original creation! The once frozen land is thawed and restored to its natural beauty.

For since death came through a manthe resurrection of the dead also came through a manFor just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (I Corinthians 15:21-22)

We look forward to the same.

Butaccording to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness truly resides. (2 Peter 3:13)

Someday God will fix this broken world. This world that is so wrong will be made right. We look forward to the new heaven and the new earth.

Do you want to build a snowman?

When they were little, all Anna wanted was to play with Elsa. Anna kept asking Elsa, who had locked herself away if she wanted to build a snowman. Anna gets her happy ending. Anna gets her glory.

After Arendelle is restored, Anna and Elsa are reunited. Anna gets her sister back.

While the resurrection of the dead and the restoration of the world are things we look forward to in the future, reconciled relationships are part of the glory we can experience today!

Just like Anna and Elsa were reconciled, you, too, can reconcile with others.

Is there someone in your life with whom you want – or need – to reconcile?

Remember, the glory – that reconciliation – comes at a cost. Maybe it’s just making the first move, making the first call. Maybe it is confessing sin and asking for forgiveness. Maybe its forgiving someone who has hurt you.

As Philippians 2 and Frozen show us, the glory (the reconciliation) comes as a result of the sacrifice.

Today I leave you with a charge instead of a question.

Move first.

Make the call.

Send the text.

Did you know I wrote a whole devotional based on Frozen? You can check out Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen over at Amazon. Also, here are two free downloads that help share God’s story with Frozen. The first one applies Frozen to the Wordless Book. The second illustrates the “Romans Road” using the storyline of Frozen. Just right-click, “save as” and enjoy!

SharingGodsStorywithFrozen SharingGodsStorywithDisneysFrozenandtheWordlessBook

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Get my free e-book, How to See God’s Story in Movies. This free download will help you share God’s story with your kids and students by showing you how to see God’s story in movies.

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to Time Travel.”

And be sure to check out my About page for more info on what I do around here at Reel Parables.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Emptied & Humbled: Frozen – Identity

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Lent is about identity. Jesus’ death and resurrection show that he is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. In the same way, Anna’s death showed that she, and not Hans or Kristoff, was the real hero!

Frozen toys with us. First, it makes us think that Hans is Prince Charming, coming in and sweeping Anna off her feet. It even plays with the traditional Disney trope of love at first sight.

How many times did we hear someone say, “You can’t marry a man you just met.”

Frozen first makes us think that Hans, the good-looking smooth talker, is the love interest and then reluctant hero once Elsa runs away. Eventually, Hans is unmasked as the bad guy when he fails to deliver “true love’s kiss” to save Anna.

Frozen then makes us think that Kristoff is the real “true love.” (Did Disney just do a love triangle?) During the climatic ending, we see Kristoff racing back to the castle to declare his love for Anna and to save her with true love’s kiss.

But neither Hans nor Kristoff is the true hero. In an act of true love – sacrificial love – Anna intercedes to save Elsa. As Hans is about to kill with Elsa with a sword (man, I don’t remember Frozen being this dark…), Anna jumps between them to save her. Anna sacrifices herself to save Elsa.

Anna shows herself to be the real hero.

Sacrifice has a tendency to reveal who we really are. What we choose – and what we sacrifice – reveals what is important to us. This is true with money. This is true with time.

What do your choices say about you?

What does your spending say about you?

What does the way you spend your time say about you?

Who are you?

If you have trusted Jesus then part of that answer is:

I have been crucified with Christand it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the bodyI live because of the faithfulness of the Son of Godwho loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

If you are not, hit me up. I would love to introduce you to him.

Did you know I wrote a whole devotional based on Frozen? You can check out Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen over at Amazon. Also, here are two free downloads that help share God’s story with Frozen. The first one applies Frozen to the Wordless Book. The second illustrates the “Romans Road” using the storyline of Frozen. Just right-click, “save as” and enjoy!

SharingGodsStorywithFrozen SharingGodsStorywithDisneysFrozenandtheWordlessBook

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Get my free e-book, How to See God’s Story in Movies. This free download will help you share God’s story with your kids and students by showing you how to see God’s story in movies.

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to Time Travel.”

And be sure to check out my About page for more info on what I do around here at Reel Parables.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Emptied & Humbled: Frozen – Death

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Lent is about death. Unlike Spider-man 2, Wreck-it-Ralph and (possibly) Guardians of the Galaxy, which hint at or imply a death, Frozen shows us that true sacrificial love often ends in death.

Of all the movies we’ve already looked at, Disney’s Frozen gives us the best Reel Parable of Philippians 2.

The whole world of Arendelle is under a curse because of the actions of one person, Elsa.

Queen Elsa, acting like the prodigal daughter, runs away from her kingdom and from her sister, Anna.

Anna, following in the footsteps of the woman who lost a coin and the shepherd who lost a sheep (the “Lost” parables), runs after her.

When Hans, the Devil-like character disguised as Prince Charming, is about to kill Elsa, Anna intercedes. In an act of true love, Anna empties herself of her own ambition and humbles herself to the point of death to save Elsa.

Frozen makes it very clear that unlike Spider-man and Ralph, Anna dies. They show her taking her last breath.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)

Anna loved Elsa the way Christ loves us.

Elsa was helpless and “ungodly.” She is the one that caused the curse on Arendelle. She is the Queen that left her kingdom. She is the older sister who left her little sister, the only family she had left. She was, as Romans 5:8 says, a sinner.

Yet Anna died for her like Christ died for us. Why? Because Anna loved Elsa.

This Lent season, remember that Jesus loves you so much that he died for you.

Did you know I wrote a whole devotional based on Frozen? You can check out Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen over at Amazon. Also, here are two free downloads that help share God’s story with Frozen. The first one applies Frozen to the Wordless Book. The second illustrates the “Romans Road” using the storyline of Frozen. Just right-click, “save as” and enjoy!

SharingGodsStorywithFrozen SharingGodsStorywithDisneysFrozenandtheWordlessBook

 

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Get my free e-book, How to See God’s Story in Movies. This free download will help you share God’s story with your kids and students by showing you how to see God’s story in movies.

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to Time Travel.”

And be sure to check out my About page for more info on what I do around here at Reel Parables.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Emptied & Humbled: Frozen – Sacrifice

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Lent is about sacrifice. Disney’s Frozen shows this very clearly: Anna, to save her big sister, Elsa, jumps between her and the bad guy’s sword.

This is a fantastic example of Christ’s sacrifice.

Else ignored Anna for years.

Elsa, not Anna, caused the curse on Arendelle. Anna didn’t do anything wrong,

Elsa is very much the “Prodigal Sister.” She is the one who ran away.

Anna is the one who emptied herself and humbled herself. With Elsa gone, Anna is now the Queen. But because Anna loved Elsa, she left her position to serve Elsa.

Anna did not pursue her own selfish ambition. Instead, she considered Elsa’s needs as more important than her own.

When Hans – the bad guy disguised as Prince Charming – is about to kill Elsa, it is Anna who intercedes. She literally sacrifices herself to save her sister.

After her death and resurrection/glory, Elsa asked Anna, “You sacrificed yourself for me?

Anna’s reply is God’s reply, “I love you.”

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. (John 3:14-16)

 

But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Yes, Jesus loves you the way Anna loved Elsa. And Jesus sacrificed himself for you just like Anna sacrificed herself for Elsa.

The sacrifice of Lent shows us that God loves us.

So today I leave you with this reminder.

God loves you.

Did you know I wrote a whole devotional based on Frozen? You can check out Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen over at Amazon. Also, here are two free downloads that help share God’s story with Frozen. The first one applies Frozen to the Wordless Book. The second illustrates the “Romans Road” using the storyline of Frozen. Just right-click, “save as” and enjoy!

SharingGodsStorywithDisneysFrozenandtheWordlessBook

SharingGodsStorywithFrozen

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Get my free e-book, How to See God’s Story in Movies. This free download will help you share God’s story with your kids and students by showing you how to see God’s story in movies.

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to Time Travel.”

And be sure to check out my About page for more info on what I do around here at Reel Parables.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith

Emptied & Humbled: Frozen – Choice

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

As we saw in Spider-man 2, Wreck-it Ralph, and Guardians of the Galaxy, Lent is about choice. Specifically, Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus chose to empty himself and to humble himself and that we are to do the same.

We all make choices every day. That is one reason Disney’s Frozen is so awesome.  Just about every single character must make a choice.

Elsa wants solitude so she does not hurt anyone and chooses to run away.

Anna, her little sister who wants her big sister’s company, chooses to run after her.

At first, Kristoff wants to work hard and keep his job. As the movie plays out, he wants Anna.

Hans, who says he loves and wants to marry Anna, really wants to kill her so he can become King!

And Olaf, sweet Olaf, wants the very thing that will hurt him, warm hugs.

Yes, everyone in Disney’s Frozen wants something. Some of these things are good, some of them are not. Regardless, each character makes a choice – based on their integrity or lack of it – to get what they want.

We’ve seen that we, too, must make choices because of our own wants, desires, and ambitions.

Philippians 2 tells us to treat others as more important than ourselves and to concern ourselves with the interests of others.

Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourselfEach of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. (Philippians 2:3-4)

We all want things. We all have desires. To empty and humble ourselves is to look at others’ wants and desires as more important than our own.

What about you? What do you want? What choice must you make to get it?

What has God been working on with you this Lent season?

What is God currently asking you to choose between?

Are you currently acting selfishly? Or are you acting humbly?

Or do you, like Olaf, want something that is actually bad for you?

Did you know I wrote a whole devotional based on Frozen? You can check out Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen over at Amazon. Also, here are two free downloads that help share God’s story with Frozen. The first one applies Frozen to the Wordless Book. The second illustrates the “Romans Road” using the storyline of Frozen. Just right-click, “save as” and enjoy!

SharingGodsStorywithFrozen

SharingGodsStorywithDisneysFrozenandtheWordlessBook

This is part of Emptied & Humbled, a movie based Lenten devotional. The whole devotional can be found here.

Get my free e-book, How to See God’s Story in Movies. This free download will help you share God’s story with your kids and students by showing you how to see God’s story in movies.

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to Time Travel.”

And be sure to check out my About page for more info on what I do around here at Reel Parables.

Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith