By Madison Randolph
Ephesians 4 & 5
Last Saturday Linda and I went to see The Shack at the theater. I spent most of the movie questioning my memory – “Was this in the book?” Unfortunately, I read the book over six years ago, and my memory is fading.
The next day, I found myself thinking about the movie more. I realized then that the message The Shack portrays is about God’s abundant love and mercy. “His mercy endures forever.” This is a human flaw that Mack, the main character, was wrestling with before he met God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – at the Shack. You see, God forgave the murderer of the tortuous act of killing Missy, his youngest daughter. Mack was bitter and angry, much of which was pointing toward God. I’m not sure I could either if she were my child. A human flaw most of us would fall into.
However, this is God’s love that my finite mind really can’t understand, his abundant love that pours out mercy. It is the New Testament story, the Jesus story as paralleled, early in the movie. Mack tells the story of an Indian princess who sacrifices her life to save the failed health of the tribe. On a grander scale, Jesus’s sacrifice of his own life by suffering death on the Cross saves believers of all sins.
In Ephesians 4:31, Paul instructs us: “Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” I can’t imagine the feelings a parent would have with a child who has passed away, much less murdered. Don’t get me wrong, God hates sin. But the narrative continues, “Forgiving those who trespass against us” washes away Mack’s bitterness ultimately. I realized then it is God’s infinite and immeasurable love that gives us that ability.
So, brethren, “be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5: 1-2)