Hunger Games: Catching Fire

So, last night I finally went and saw Catching Fire, the second movie in The Hunger Games series. I walked away with lots to ponder, just like I did with the first one. The focus of this movie is definitely the struggle Katniss (main character) faces of being thrust into a position of leadership and not wanting it. In fact, she actually says in the movie that she doesn't want people looking up to her. Yet, it is happening. She fought in the games to survive, not to bring hope.

But hope she brings.

President Snow offers my favorite quote in this movie, just like in the first. In a conversation with the head of the games, he tells him that fear doesn't work when there is hope.

Fear doesn't work when there is hope.

Fear does not go away when there is hope. That is obvious in the movie. The people are afraid. They fear for their lives. They have no power, no control. Katniss is terrified and has been since the day she volunteered to take her sisters place. No, fear does not go away because we have hope.

But hope is stronger than fear.

That, I think, is the premise of this movie. Hope is stronger than fear. When hope is sparked in the human heart, it will always drive us forward, in spite of our fear. I get fear. I very much get fear. I was shrouded in it for many years. I never felt safe as a child. I know how powerful the monster of fear can be. But, fear is never stronger than hope.

In one conversation Katniss has with another tribute (I can't remember her name) she asks the girl why she is so bold, so willing to fight. Her response is that they have taken everything away from her that matters and so she has no reason not to fight. (not exact wording but close) Most of these tributes have lost everything that matters to them. They have nothing else to live for...and so they have nothing left to lose.

I that how we should be living with this hope of Jesus in us? Perhaps that is the element that we sometimes lack. Perhaps we sometimes forget to live like we have nothing left to lose. Paul says that to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21) That means, whether I walk this Earth, or leave this Earth...I win. Hope is the one thing we have that the world doesn't. When we find Christ, we find hope and we can live in the freedom of hope.

I don't want to give away the ending for those who don't know what to expect, but I can say that a revolution is stirring in this movie, a war for justice. Hope is the force behind this coming revolution. Katniss struggles within herself until the very end of the movie. She even says at one point that she just wants things to go back the way they were. She just wants to go on surviving, but not living.

How many live like that in our world? How many choose to just survive this life only to end in death, when there is hope for eternity available to them? What are we living for if not for the hope of forever Jesus calls us to not just survive, but to live...forever. Katniss represents all of us, friends. We are all called to so much more, but we all struggle so with our flesh, our fear...our humanity.

Jesus is calling us to breath hope around us. Hope sparks when we feed a hungry soul or clothe a cold child. Hope comes when we lay hands on the sick and they are healed. Hope comes when we offer forgiveness to our enemies. Hope...hope is the cry of the cross. Hope should be the anthem we sing.

The fight for hope will be just that...a fight. People are not going to receive hope if we don't go out and give it to them. It will be messy, dirty, sometimes it will look dark and scary....but we must wage war for hope. I sometimes forget that just because Jesus fought the ultimate battle, that doesn't mean there aren't going to be more battles to fight. He wins, we win...but we must fight in the meantime. We must step out and win the souls that don't have hope. It is what he calls us too. It is why he gives us the power of his spirit. He wants us to fight for hope. Fight for hope, no matter how hard the battle. Fight for hope, no matter how scary the journey. Fight...

for hope.

"We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let it go..." Hebrews 6:19


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