Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God – Ephesians 4:1
We looked yesterday at the opportunity of a new start in life that seems to be approaching us very quickly. How we live that life is very much up to us so today I would like us to take some illustrations from a movie and read Ephesians 4:1-6 (NLT) to draw some conclusions from what I believe followers of Jesus need to do when we finally come out of this lockdown.
It seems so long ago that a movie called Saving Private Ryan dominated the Oscars with 5 wins when it was released in 1998. There’s a good reason for that.
The realistic and often horrific film (the first scene particularly) follows the journey of an American platoon of World War II soldiers as they march across war-torn Europe in search of Private Ryan, the only living son of four brothers who has been killed in the war.
It’s unusual since this platoon is not fighting the enemy but putting their lives at risk for finding one of their own, an American boy and more unusual to send him home from the fighting while they stay. This is going to put their lives at risk. But since the United States government wants Private Ryan (Matt Damon) pulled from active combat duty before he is sent home in a body bag like all his brothers, Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) and his band of brothers set out to find and save him. Sadly the movie ends with most of the men in the platoon losing their lives trying to save Private Ryan.
It’s a story of sacrifice from beginning to end – sacrifice for everyone concerned in this true story.
Firstly there was the mother of Private Ryan as she learns on the same day her three sons have been killed in action and that the army has been sent to rescue her one remaining son who is somewhere in Normandy.
How do you think the woman felt about losing her three sons?
Then there was the sacrifice of the United States as they were willing to let a mission go ahead. I’m sure there were other high priorities that could have been used for these soldiers. Instead, they were willing to abort any plans they had for this platoon to find this one young soldier.
Were the army right to look for her only son left and bring him home while other soldiers had to stay and fight?
Then of course there were the soldiers themselves, led by Capt. Miller, played by Tom Hanks. For them, this was certainly a strange mission. Instead of fighting the enemy, they were scouring the country looking for one young boy.
Capt. Miller is fatally wounded in a battle against Nazi soldiers. Capt. Miller and his men have paid a huge price to save the life of Private Ryan. Let’s listen in on the words Capt. Miller said to Private Ryan just before he dies. He simply said, “Earn this.”
Was Capt. Miller and his platoon sacrifice worth it?
The final scene shifts to the Old Man Ryan looking at Capt. Miller’s tombstone. It shows the sacrifice one person was willing to make for another, and how that person took the sacrifice seriously enough to live every single day of his life accordingly.
Jesus has made an even greater sacrifice for you and me than Capt. Miller made for Private Ryan, and we too have a duty to live our lives in a way that shows God we take the sacrifice of His perfect and holy Son, seriously.
How do you take Jesus’ sacrifice seriously?
Paul gives us a short list of really important habits and practices to focus on in our lives. If we commit to living a life that follows these commands.
- We will live a life that is worthy of our calling.
- We will bring honour to Jesus and show Him that we took His awesome sacrifice seriously.
- We will show Jesus that because He was willing to live and die for us, we are willing to live for Him.
Stay safe and blessed