At The Movies: The Lego Movie

At The Movies

May 10, 2015

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Rachel Billups

Where else on God's green earth are you going to find a Fabulous Flower Sale, a Mother's Day message, scenes from the LEGO movie and the absolute cutest kids EVER being promised up to God in baptism? Only at Ginghamsburg, of course.

Something for everyone this weekend - along with incredible inspiration to be the best leaders, parents and moms God's called us to be. Don't miss this beautiful May weekend experience!
AT THE MOVIES: The Lego Movie

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John 14:12-14 / Rachel Billups / May 9 & 10, 2015      

Sermon Questions

At the Movies: The Lego Movie

Living life according to the world’s manual appears to be an easy way to fit in, but deep down we all want to be special. But is being special defined by what we do or who we are? This week let’s look at life according to God’s instructions and how we all are special.  Daily devotionals that accompany each day's reading are also available on Facebook. They are created by a great Ginghamsburg unpaid servant team. You do not have to be a Facebook user to access them. View here.
Day 1: Read Acts 4:13-20
Peter and John were unschooled, ordinary men; nothing special. Yet, they insisted on speaking truth to the world. Are you special? Do you need to be? Or just faithful in your calling? Do spiritual gifts make us special? Why or why not?
Day 2: Read John 14:5-14
Thomas and Phillip are asking for explicit instructions on which to act. What are the only “instructions” Jesus gives them? Where/How do we get instructions today? Whose instruction manual are you following as you build in this life? God’s or the world’s?
Day 3: Read Exodus 4:10-16 
We need people to speak into our life, but we also need to speak into others’ lives. How did God speak into Moses’ life when he didn’t feel special enough to fulfill his calling? How would Moses then be able to speak into Aaron’s life and the lives of the Israelites?
Day 4: Read Exodus 14:10-31
We need people to fight for us, but we also need to fight for others. How did God fight for Moses? How did Moses fight for the Israelites? Does fighting always mean a physical battle?
Day 5: Read Deuteronomy 31:1-9
We need seers in our life, but we also need to be seers. How was God’s foretelling of Moses’ death a gift to Moses? How did this knowledge allow Moses to see into Joshua’s life? Many don’t believe prophecy today. What might being a seer look like in our modern world?
Day 6: Read Acts 4:32-35
Some build with what they prefer, like black bricks or pink ones, but there is no team unity or strength when building selfishly. Why was the early church’s sharing of resources critical? Is the modern church too busy building with its own bricks today? Why or why not?
Day 7: Read Hebrews 10:23-36
It is essential to our faith that we don’t become permanently stuck, so affixed to our ideas of perfection and habits that we no longer speak, fight or see. What in your attitude is keeping you stuck? How does Hebrews 10 encourage you? What focus can keep you moving forward?
                                (Read daily reflections at   

Sermon Transcript

May 9 & 10, 2015

Sermon Series: At The Movies: Lego Movie

Rachel Billups, Executive Pastor

John 14:12-14


I love it when the kids participate in worship! Their participation in worship reminds us that this movement, this God movement, has an incredible future full of possibilities. Why? It is because these kids were created by God to build incredible things.


A couple of weeks ago, I ate lunch with my son Topher, and what seemed like 50,000, other kindergartens. Immediately, the boys at our table started talking about Legos. “I’ve got a whole bucket of Legos at home!” “Yeah, well I have a whole tub full of Legos!” “You guys, I have 10 tubs of Legos!” “Wow!” “If I had a whole house full of Legos, I would build a spaceship and fly to Mars.” “Well if I had a million Legos, I would build a whole town and call it Topher town.” “If I had a zillion Legos, I would...” 


This went on and on until they were practically shouting with creativity, and lunch was over. It was awesome! They were dreaming, thinking and problem solving as though they were part of a Lego building team—with no boundaries or thoughts of limitations. It was amazing—six-year-old boys dreaming of the incredible things they could do! These kindergartens fully embraced that they were created to build incredible things. 


So why is it that when grow up, when we become adults, that some of us believe are created to do incredible things and others, well we don’t. We don’t believe that we are incredible. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we are doing, what resume we are building, and the business of everyday life, that we forget—we forget who we are and whom God wants us to be. 


This is what The Lego Movie is all about—remembering who we are and who God created us to be. There’s this ordinary construction worker named Emmett—and in Emmett’s world everything seems awesome, but it’s not. Emmett doesn’t realize it, but he’s been brain washed like the rest of Lego City into carefully creating a polished perfect world for the man in charge, evil Lord Business. Lord Business wants the whole city to be in perfect order, so he has a plan to freeze everything with crazy glue. Emmett is happy and content until one day he stumbles upon the “piece of resistance”—the cap to the crazy glue. The only thing in the universe that can destroy the Kragle, the glue, and put end to Lord Business’ master plan. Emmett is chosen by the God figure in this story—The Man Upstairs to be The Special and save the city. Just like most adults—he doesn’t believe it! He doesn’t believe that he was created by The Man Upstairs to build incredible things. 


Emmett is just an ordinary construction worker. He’s a nobody, or at least that is what others think of when they think of Emmett, painfully ordinary. All of that changes when the people around Emmett help him to believe a new reality in his life. There are three kinds of people Emmett finds in his life—that we need in our lives in order to believe that we were created by God to build incredible things. They are: speakers, fighters and seers. 


Speakers name for us a new reality—you and I are The Special.


(Movie Clip: Wild Style speaking into Emmett’s Life)


Do you see his confusion? Emmett needed a speaker in his life! Suddenly Emmett is confronted with a new word, a new definition of who he is and who he can be! When I think of Emmett and Wild Style, I can’t help but think about Jesus’ encounter with those first disciples. They were ordinary fishermen, regular folk, and I am pretty sure the disciples didn’t grown up hearing their moms say they were created for incredible things—that they were created by The Man Upstairs to create incredible things.


Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 4:19. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will teach you how to take this skill you have for fish and transfer that skill over to people. I’ve got you, James and John. You’ll see, I’ll send you out to fish for people” (NIV). 


Just like Emmett, the disciples are confronted with this new reality. This is who I thought I was, but now I am beginning to discover I have a purpose. The Man Upstairs has a plan for my life. 


I can remember my first speaker—that person who, with the power of words, opened my eyes to new possibilities.  Gladys Schaal was a retired schoolteacher who attended the church I grew up in. Weekly, Gladys would stand up in church and talk about how Jesus was working in her life—we sometimes call that a testimony. Even as I kid, I knew there was something amazing, something holy about Gladys. She was connected to God. Even though Gladys never had any biological children, in fact she was never married, she decided to serve as a spiritual mother to many, including me. I can remember as young kid, her coming up to me and saying, “Rachel, God has his hand on you, and I don’t know what it is, but you are going to do something incredible for God. You are special.” No one had ever spoken that kind of word over me—she challenged my reality. I didn’t think I was special but she said THAT is not who you are—THIS is who you are. She was my speaker! Gladys SPOKE hope and passion into my life. That changed my reality. So church, who have been your speakers? Who is that person or persons who has spoken a new reality into your life? Take a moment and pair up with someone near you, and tell them of a person who has spoken a new reality into your life.


Not only do we need speakers in our lives but we also need fighters. 


(Movie Clip: Team rallying around Emmett)  


Don’t mess with Unikitty—that is one crazy cat! We need people who are willing to fight for us! One day Jesus and his disciples were out in the fields. It happened to be the Sabbath—that day when everybody is supposed to be resting. The Pharisees—a group of polished people who never understood incredible—criticize JESUS’ disciples for gathering grain from the fields and eating it. 


This is Jesus’ response, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12: 3-4, 8 NIV). Jesus fights for his disciples—even when the most religious people on the face of the planet are accusing them of breaking the law. We need people who are willing to fight for us; to do what ever it takes to help us live into our identity as incredible people.


Last Saturday, I was standing in my corral getting ready to run the Indianapolis Mini Marathon when I notice I guy I thought I recognized, my admissions counselor undergrad—Josh Janko. Josh had fought for me to receive an academic scholarship at Anderson University. There were only so many awarded and although I had great grades, my ACT scores didn’t qualify me for the scholarships. So he encouraged me to take the SAT and I did, and scored high enough to make it the top scholarship categories. It was last minute but Josh created a way for me to have THAT spot!


I can remember the Sunday that he came to my little church and presented me with that scholarship. Josh FOUGHT for me—he didn’t have to—but did! His fighting for me changed my life. Because of Josh, I went to Anderson. Because of Anderson, I married my husband and went to Duke and had so many more opportunities… all because he fought for me.


We need speakers, we need fighters, and we also need seers.


(Movie Clip: Vitruvius) 


Seers are those visionaries—those prophets in our lives—who can see what we just cannot see about our future. Vitruvius is the prophet who speaks into Emmett’s life to say, this is who you were created to be. You were created to build incredible things!


Jesus does this in Peter’s life—it’s one of my favorite moments in the Bible. Peter is one of those ordinary fishermen, uneducated, living paycheck to paycheck, fishing for survival.  But Jesus looks past the ordinary and sees incredible in Peter—that someday Peter is going to be a courageous leader.


Jesus says to Peter, “I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18 NIV). Peter’s got to be thinking to himself, what’s he talking about—you are going to build your church on me? Jesus what does that even mean? Well it came to mean that even though Peter wasn’t perfect, denying Jesus when Jesus needed him the most, Peter went on to be the foundation of the church.  The first leader among many other leaders! 


As weird as it may sound to say, we need seers. We need people who are looking at our lives—peering into our future—and with the most sincerity speak words of truth about who we are and who we are to become. You and I were created by the man upstairs to build incredible things! 


Close to the end of the story, the movie takes a turn. The entire time you are watching the movie, you think you are watching an animated film. Then Emmett, to save the world, jumps off the cliff and lands on the concrete floor of a real life basement. You suddenly realize what this is all about—the story is about a boy who is playing with his dad’s stuff.  The dad collects Lego, not to play with them, but to create the model city—one that he glues down. All the little boy wants to do is to build incredible things—but his dad will not let him—this is dad’s hobby—the Legos are not a toy. The dad wants everything to be in its place—and in the process forgets who he is and who he is called to be.


(Movie Clip: Dad and son)


It’s the little boy who becomes the speaker, the fighter and the seer for his own father. Why—so that he can remind his parent, you don’t have to be the bad guy. No, we can be the speakers and fighters and seers for our kids.


Church, today God is calling you and I to BE the speakers, to BE the fighters and to BE the seers the next generation. Every single time we baptize kids in this church, we make promises. We are saying to these kids and these parents, I promise to be the speaker, so passionately that I will fight for what you need, and be a visionary in YOUR life. These kids are our kids, because they are all children of God and we are called to be the spiritual mothers, father, aunts and uncles to these kids. Every single child needs to know that they were created by the man upstairs to build incredible things! They are the special! 


Today is Mother’s Day; I want to take moment to speak to the moms out there. Whether you have kids or you’re like Gladys, a spiritual mother, there are some kids in your life right now who need you to speak into them, fight for them and show them a picture of their future. Without this, they may never know who they are and whose they are.


A couple of nights ago, my daughter Adeline and I were reading The Little Mermaid. It dawn on me that I don’t know how many weeks, months, years of this I have left with my precious 9-year-old. As we were reading, I had this question rolling around in my mind; does she think this is how it is—one soul mate, one prince or princess charming for every person out there?


So I said to her, “Addie, do you think there is just one person out there for you?” She looked at me and for a moment I held my breath. She said, “No mom, how would I ever be able to find them if there were only one?” That lead us into a discussion about if Addie ever does marry what are the qualities in a spouse that she should be looking for. In that moment, she pulled out a journal and began to share with me some of her secrets about her visions for the future—who she wants to be, what she wants to do, and what’s she is excited about.  Church, I realized I was on holy ground!


What we do every day to speak into, to fight for, to be the seers for the babies, toddlers, children and teen in our church, will shape whether or not they believe that they were created by the man upstairs to build incredible things. It’s not about how many games, how many trophies, how many activities—it’s about the people—the relationships—those moment when we are able—while fixing breakfast, while going on that field trip, while cleaning the room together, while participating in small group—to speak, fight and see for our kids. 


They were created by the man upstairs to build incredible things! 


For parents—especially moms of all kinds—pray for their strength and empowerment to rise up and speak, fight and see.

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