Reel Theology – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Message for January 21, 2018
Speaker: Dr. Stephen Harper

Scripture: Psalm 43 & Ecclesiastes 4:7-12

Sometimes life can feel likes it’s crushing down on us. What can we do when it seems that the complexities of life are too much to bear? Mildred Hayes certainly knew this to be true.  The movie, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is about Mildred, who is grieving the rape and murder of her teenage daughter Angela, seven months prior. Angry over the lack of progress in the investigation, she rents three abandoned billboards near her home. This act offends the sensibilities of most of the town’s people who admire the town’s sheriff, and only further isolates Mildred who is already quite alone in her grief, her anger, and her yearning for justice.

Alone – it’s a place that we, as humans, were never meant to be. One of the major themes of God’s story is the redemptive power of community, friendship, family and love. The author of Ecclesiastes knew this to be true – writing that “two are better than one, if one falls down, their friend can help them up. But pity the one who falls and has no one to help them up!”

Mildred discovers this truth in the movie. When in spite of her best efforts to exist in a lonely place of sorrow, she is reminded of the power of community. What can we do when it seems that the complexities of life are too much to bear? When we feel alone, when we feel like we can’t go on, that’s when we need to let those who care about us, care for us.

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