I saw a commercial for the movie Pay it Forward, which by the time this is posted, would have already aired. This is a movie that really moved me,and has stuck with me since seeing it. However, I am not sure I can watch it again. If you have seen it, you know why. If you haven’t, I believe it is worth watching, even if the language is on the strong side. Just don’t forget to have a box of tissue handy.
Not long after seeing the movie it was my turned to lead the Praise & Worship in my Christ Care Group training for the first time and I was very nervous. And, after recently seeing the advertisement I remembered I still had my notes from long ago and thought I would share them. Had I been leading a Christ Care Group, there would have been questions and topics of discussion as well. So, here was my first attempt ever.
September 22, 2005
Praise & Worship
“PAY IT FORWARD”
Song: The Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns.
Ask: Who has seen or heard of the movie Pay if Forward?
Recap: It is about a seventh grade boy who was given an extra credit assignment in his Social Studies class. Each student was to come up with one thing that they could do that might just change the world. This boy decided that he would do one thing for three people. The catch was, instead of those three paying him back, they were to do something for three other people. Those nine people were to then repeat the process. The math was presented in the movie and I can’t remember how many peoples live would be touched, but if it continued, the numbers would be astronomical. There were only two requirements regarding what they did for someone else: 1) it had to be something that person could not do for themselves and 2) it had to be Really big.
Worship: What a concept. Doing something for someone else that they could not do for themselves. And, that it has to be really big. I have seen references to the movie in the newspaper under the Acts of Kindness section. The authors who had been helped have been promising to pay it forward, as if this is a fresh, new idea perpetuated first by a book and then a movie.
But, something really big has already been done for us and, it is something that we could not do for ourselves.
Verse: Matthew 27:37 – Above his head they placed the written charge against him: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
Verse: Matthew 27:40 – and saying, “you who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross if you are the Son of God.”
Verse: Luke 23:34 – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”.
Verse: Luke 23:46 – Jesus called out in a loud voice. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Jesus did something really, really big, and something we could not possible do for ourselves. And, he did not limit it to three people. It was for EVERYONE.
Jesus also commanded that we pay it forward for Him.
Verse: Matthew 25:35-36, 40- For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me. . . (40) The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mind, you did for me.”
Verse: John 13:1316 – You call me Teacher and Lord and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
Another example is The Good Samaritan, found in Luke 10:30-37
How clearer can it be? Jesus instructed the disciples, instructed us, to pay it forward. Not to walk on water, or try to slay a giant with a stone. Just to simply pay it forward. The movie is just a twist on what Jesus had been teaching all along.
Reflection: After seeing the movie and reflecting on what Jesus had done for me, I thought about how often I had paid it forward and, how often I had dropped the ball.
Music: If We are the Body by Casting Crowns.
Meditation: Close your eyes. Breathe deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Relax. Think of the time you have paid it forward.
Now, think of a time or times you have dropped the ball. It could have been when you were a child, too young to understand. It could have been when you were a teenage, when you were too embarrassed or insecure because of peer pressure. It could have been as an adult, because you were too busy, too shy, or just too something. Most of us can recall a moment when we failed. In your heart, acknowledge that moment and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness.
Dear Lord, because we are sinners, and often blind, we sometimes fail to reach out our arms, heal, teach or show love. Lord, please help us be more aware of the people you put in our path each and every day. Help us to recognize what needs we can meet that they cannot meet on their own. Let us always strive to pay it forward for you because you did pay much too high a price for us to pick and choose who we will help. Let us overcome our own failing so that we can pay it forward for YOU, at every opportunity you present us. Amen.
So, that was my first Praise & Worship, and if feels like it was so long ago.
One of the ways we can pay it forward is to pray for each other. How can I pray for you this week?