I’m not a big book reader, but I love a good movie. That being said, I like, a good number of people, have been sucked into the Hunger Games saga. I’ll admit I didn’t go to the theater when the first one came out, and I may or may not have joked about the trendy masses swooning over the actors and actresses cast in the film, but then my wife brought it home one evening, and well, I’m a sucker for a good cliffhanger. As I sat watching the newest installment the question struck me, what is it about this character (Katniss) that I like? I mean why am I identifying with her, rooting for her, cheering her on? The realization hit me several hours after I left the theater, I like Katniss Everdeen because she represents what I was made for.
Hear me out. The moments that move us in these movies are the ones where Katniss is moved by compassion for those that are suffering or when she boldly fires her arrows at the establishment that attempts to control her. It’s the rebellion against the world she’s been forced to live in that I connect with. I think these things speak to us, because it’s part of the story we’re involved in. The Bible tells us that many, many years ago God created humanity and placed them in the perfection that was this world. That lasted approximately two chapters and by chapter three Adam and Eve essentially rebelled against God bringing sin and brokenness into this world. This is the world we live in. The world where destruction and evil are found around every corner and our lives hang in the middle. This is our story. The story that started in Genesis is continuing today. In fact, the Bible tells us that this world groans awaiting the day it’s made right again, and us along with it (Romans 8:23). It’s a story of oppression and redemption, and we have a chance to take our place in the long line of those who followed the King and have pushed back against it.
The Gospel is in fact the good news of those longing for things to be set right, the fact that Jesus came to destroy the oppression of sin and death and to liberate those that would join His Kingdom. That is the adventure that we are called into, where we have a role much larger than filling a seat on Sundays, one that is joining the fight against death and sin. It’s what should move us to compassion and cause us to care for those that are suffering. It’s what should cause us to welcome the hurting and love those far from God because Jesus came to free us from the world that seeks to destroy us that should motivate. That’s why Katniss and the heroes on the screen resonate with us; they touch us at our core. They remind us of what we’re made for and whom we truly are, and that is exciting.
This is the heart cry of the valley, that you would see that Jesus didn’t free you just so you could go to Heaven one day, He came that you might walk in His freedom and joy now!