Recently, I was invited to a movie by an unbeliever. Over the years, I have witnessed God's love to this young single mom and her two children through babysitting, shared meals, loaned cars, and most important, a listening ear. This particular night, however, she said she wanted to treat me to popcorn and a good movie. We went to see "Raising Helen" starring Kate Hudson and John Corbett. The movie was rated PG-13 (for thematic issues), but I soon discovered that it was also God-rated (for spiritual application opportunities). This predictable, but pleasant romantic comedy moved both of us to a healthy mixture of laughter and tears; but, as the movie progressed, my dear friend began to weep. After the movie, as we sat in her car, I asked her which character she related to the most. The tears surfaced again as she related the similarities between herself and Kate Hudson, who, as the character of Helen, became a single mom after her older sister and brother-in-law died leaving her their three children. My friend, knowing first hand the tragedy of losing a sibling and being a single mom, identified with Helen's grief, overwhelming responsibilities, and deep love for her children. Our conversation naturally turned toward God as my friend sought comfort from the storms in her life.
This month, consider attending a God-rated movie with some unbelievers. Ask your small group members to invite someone they know and plan to meet at the theatre. Before the movie, equip each one of your members with a few questions to ask over coffee or dessert after the movie (With which character do you relate to the most? Why? What was your favorite scene? Why? and Would you change the ending or make it different? How?) Many secular movies offer great depictions of good and evil, tragedy and triumph, achieving dreams and overcoming great loss. Take advantage of a film's God-rating by inviting others to share their lives as reflected on the big screen.