This week At The Movies, we're learning from the animated world of Toy Story 4. This isn't just a kids' movie...In fact, most people who watched it are adults who grew up watching Toy Story and are now taking their kids to see it. The movie actually addresses some real-life themes such as loss, life transitions, friendship, and the grand purpose of life. The story picks up from when Andy went to college in Toy Story 3 and gave his toys to a little girl named Bonnie. We see Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear, but we're also introduced to a new character: Forky. Bonnie created Forky out of some peices of trash in school...and soon enough, Forky became Bonnie's favorite toy!
In Forky's creation, we see parallels to our own creation story: Genesis 2:7 in the Bible shows us that "the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Like how Bonnie made something extraordinary from garbage, God breathed life into ordinary dust to create you and me!
LIFE'S BIG QUESTIONS
In Toy Story 4, Forky has a hard time understanding that he's no longer trash, but a toy... which promps him to ask the big questions of life. Like Forky, we tend to question our own identity and purpose. Ephesians 2:4-10 in the Bible actually shows us that because God created and loves us, and Jesus died to give us life. There are 3 main reasons he made us..and these are the reasons for why we exist!
Reason #1: Receive His Love
Toy Story 4 shows us that Forky came to life because of Bonnie's love for him. But, Forky didn't want to embrace his new identity as a toy that's loved and valued by it's owner. Likewise, In Ephesians 2, the Apostle Paul teaches the Ephesian Christians to see themselves in a new way: Not as the trash of the culture, but as God's treasure! The only way to accept your new identity as God's treasure is to receive his incredible love.
Reason #2: Return His Love
Next, we see in the movie that kids love their toys...and the toys love the kids back! In the same way, we weren't just meant to receive God's love...We were meant to return His love right back to Him. John Piper said "The purpose of humanity is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever." This is why we gather at church on Sundays... To receive God's unconditional love and forgiveness and give Him praise and love through our worship.
Reason #3: Release His Love
Now, the third reason that God created you and me is to RELEASE HIS LOVE! Throughout Toy Story 4, Sheriff Woody knew his purpose was to help and love kids... And he found purpose in helping Forky discover his new identity as a toy that Bonnie loves. Woody lived out his purpose by helping other toys! In the same way, we express our purpose by releasing God's love. As God's beloved child, we're called to share God's love with the world through our compassion, gifts, and ultimately, our lives! As God says "You've got a friend in me," we can say the same to God and our neighbors. Let's release God's love to our neighbors this week as we live out our purpose as his beloved children!