HomeWord - July 30, 2010

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The Gospel According to Nemo 

This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? 
—Luke 15:4 (MSG)

With all of the junk the Hollywood movie industry throws our way, it is exciting when a movie comes along that is wholesome, demonstrates good morals and values and—isn't cheesy. Putting aside my hesitancy to over spiritualize everything, I found that Finding Nemo, released in 2003, was both a fun movie—and intentionally or unintentionally—shared the Gospel storyline to millions of people.

In a nutshell, Finding Nemo tells the story of two clown fish: Marlin (father) and Nemo (son). Nemo disobeys his father and ends up in a dentist office aquarium. Marlin, relentlessly seeks to find his son. The word of Marlin's courageous journey to find Nemo (can you say "good news"?) spreads and eventually reaches Nemo. Nemo, compelled by the message of his father's love and concern responds by taking a leap of faith—out of the aquarium—and down a drain that leads him back to the ocean and eventually to a happy reunion with his father.

Doesn't this sound just like our own storyline with God? We have all disobeyed God. Yet God loves us and relentlessly pursues us—even to the extent of sending His son, Jesus to die in our place, paying the penalty for our sins—so that we might be reunited with our Heavenly Father. By stepping out in faith—believing in God's love for us demonstrated through Jesus—we are saved.

Why was Finding Nemo such a popular movie with adults? I believe it is because most everyone, regardless of age, is drawn into stories of heroic love—and a relentless pursuit of the beloved. Most everyone hopes that someone would love them enough to leave everything else behind in order to find them. And, as believers in Jesus, we know that we have that Someone. I enjoy having little opportunities along the way in my own journey of faith that remind me of what God has done for me. In Finding Nemo, I found an unexpected reassurance of God's great love for me. How about you?

Today, say thank you to God for his relentless love. 

GOING DEEPER:

  1. Have you personally responded to God's love for you? If not, what is keeping you from doing so?
  2. The fish spread the "good news" of Marlin's journey to find Nemo. Are you sharing the "good news" of God's love and his pursuit of lost people with others? If not, why not? Perhaps watching Finding Nemo with some friends and talking about its spiritual connections would be a good place to start.

FURTHER READING:
Luke 15:4-7; Romans 3:23; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-10

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