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The Fire Is Catching: 4 Lessons from The Hunger Games

By: john weirick

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 hits theaters today, but you probably already knew that.

Few film franchises have gained as much popularity in both younger and older audiences as The Hunger Games. There’s a lot for all ages, especially if we take the time to dig into the topics that point to the truth about who Jesus is and who we are.

4 Themes To Look For In The Hunger Games

1. We all want a hero.

Capitol residents were eager to admire and support the tributes who fought in the Hunger Games. Once Katniss Everdeen defied the Capitol, the Districts looked to her to fulfill their hopes for an uprising.

We do the same thing with celebrities, athletes, and others we admire. Looking to someone to do what we can’t or to live a life out of our reach can give us hope that more is possible. When we see Jesus—the perfect life He lived and the way He came to rescue us—we’re given hope that our lives can get better because He’s the one we’ve been waiting for (John 3:17).

2. Sacrifices change lives.

Katniss volunteered as tribute when her younger sister, Primrose, was selected to compete in the Hunger Games. Because of Katniss’ love for her sister and family, she gave up her relative safety to enter a fight to the death.

Just as viewers of the Hunger Games were amazed by Katniss’ willingness to sacrifice herself, seeing someone live sacrificially gets our attention. Every time we see self-sacrifice for the good of another person, we can thank Jesus for giving His life so we can connect with God and become changed people (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

3. Be the same person in public and in private.

Katniss, Peeta, and the rest of the tributes were given access to wealth, food, and fashion that emphasized their appearance rather than their true character. They were expected to act a certain way and say certain things for the entertainment of Panem and their own survival, yet who they were off-camera was largely different than their on-screen personas.

We often act differently in front of people than we do alone. Integrity is about being consistent in who we are in public as well as in private (Proverbs 28:6, 2 Corinthians 8:21).

Because of who Jesus is and how He changes our lives, the odds really are in our favor.

4. We can’t do life alone.

In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, some tributes band together to ward off the others and find a way to beat the system and end the Hunger Games. Each character brought a unique set of skills and personality to the group, and they were better for it.

In the same way, we’re meant to use our different personalities and strengths to help others around us. As individuals, we can do a lot of what God calls us to do, but we can’t do everything He’s told us to do (John 13:34). If we live like we really believe that we can’t do life alone, the church will reach more people far from God and more lives will change (Hebrews 10:24-25).

God’s truth is all around us, even in books and movies like The Hunger Games. Because of who Jesus is and how He changes our lives, the odds really are in our favor.

Catch more about The Hunger Games—a NewSpring sermon series earlier this year.

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