Grab a snack, find a seat... you're At the Movies! Each week we'll see how God uses characters and situations in our lives to move us along on our journey, so we can discover what He has for us.
Have you ever been on a quest for something?
This movie is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley, a young boy born in an impoverished village in India. Saroo and his older brother Guddu often searched for food and coins on trains to help their struggling mother and siblings survive. Even though they didn’t have much in the way of wealth and possession, they had so much of what mattered most. These 2 brothers had each other until one day everything changed.
Searching for his missing brother Guddu, Saroo falls asleep on a train while waiting for his brother to hopefully return. When he wakes up hours later he is hundreds and hundreds of miles away from home. For three weeks he was completely by himself. This 5-year old boy was fighting to survive on the streets of Calcutta. He was hungry, lost and afraid. People are literally trying to abduct him, kidnap him, and sell him into a life of unimaginable trafficking. Little Saroo starts a search for home that would last for over 2 decades to come.
Chances are you’ve never had to survive all alone in a city of millions of people, but many of you are surviving in another way. Maybe a job you just can’t stand. Some of you are struggling to stay in a marriage that’s hanging on by a thread. Others are battling a diagnosis that has you scared out of your mind, or maybe you’re facing a financial mountain that just seem too big to climb. You are searching for anything, for an answer, for a solution, for a way out.
Share a current struggle in your life. What can you do to keep encouraged and not give up?
Have someone read Psalm 69:3
In the Message translation it reads King David said, “I’m hoarse from calling for help, bleary-eyed from searching the sky for God.” In other words, I’m getting tired of the search. I’ve been searching for healing for my marriage, but we’re still at odds. I searched to get ahead in life, but I feel like I’m falling more behind. And no matter how hard I search, I still can’t find what I want.
Some of you are on a spiritual search. You’ve called out to God, and even God seems hard to find. I think there are scores of people who are realizing that there must be more to life. I think there may be some of you today who have said “Surely there must be a God, but how do I know what to believe? If there is a God, how do I even find Him?”
Share a time in your life it seemed like God was silent or far away.
Have someone read Proverbs 8:17.
The good news is when you seek God, you will find God.
Saroo kept on searching and didn’t give up. While on a desperate search for his family, thankfully Saroo was adopted by an amazing couple in Australia.
One thing that every adoptive person knows is that someone chose them. The very act of adoption requires that someone chose you.
One of the greatest things about God is that He chose you. He wants to adopt you. Sometimes difficult or strained relationships with our earthly parents affect how we see God. We end up viewing God through the lens of our parents.
Is the concept that God chose you easy to embrace or hard to accept?
Have someone read Ephesians 1:5.
If you don’t remember anything else, remember this, God chose you. No matter what happened to you in your past, no matter what bad choices you might have made in your life you do not need to be weight down with guilt, shame and embarrassment. If you’ve come to God through Jesus Christ, you’ve been adopted and chosen in His family. You are a child of God. And I want this to remind you today that God loves you. Maybe your earthly father let you down but God the Father chooses you every day.
The movie has a strong theme of home and the longing for it woven throughout the film. Going home is a key theme of our faith. Ultimately home is not a building or a body but found in God Himself.
Saroo is loved, but he also has a deep desire to find home, where he came from. Through the use of Google Earth he begins to try and find where he was born and where he comes from. He has vague memories – a water tower, a rock quarry, the train station. Every evening from about 5 p.m. till 2 in the morning he would search on the internet. He estimates that he spent close to 10,000 hours searching for the family that he had lost.
Each of us has something we are searching for. We want peace, healing, a new job, a relationship, restoration and there is a longing in our hearts. The key is to not give up. Do not let anything discourage you to quit.
How did Saroo’s friends encourage and support him on his search to find where he came from? Is there someone in your life searching for Jesus? How can you encourage and support them?
Have someone read Galatians 6:9 & Ezekiel 24:16.
One of the sweetest parts of the movie is that Saroo’s mother never gave up hope. The God you are searching for is actually searching for you. God is searching for you today.
Every year, Saroo celebrates his birthday on May 22nd, but that wasn’t the day he was born. That was the day he was found. Perhaps today is the day for you to be found by the God who has been searching for you.
The characters in the movie exhibited compassion, gratitude and perseverance. How have you seen those characteristics benefit you in your journey towards/with Jesus?
a. A current search or struggle you need to see God
b. Someone you are praying for to believe in Jesus
Spend time in small groups praying for each other.
Note to Leaders:
If you know someone who is searching and has questions Alpha is a great place to refer them. It launched this week but for the next two weeks people can still join. It meets Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm in Student Center or Wednesday at 11:30 in The Block.