I love it when family entertainment leads to spiritual discussions. Family Night this week consisted of pizza and Wreck It Ralph. First of all, it’s amazing to find any entertainment at all these days that’s family friendly… but above and beyond that, it was cool to see so many biblical principles brought to life on the screen and to be able to sit and talk about them after.
First… a little background:
The clumsy Wreck-It Ralph has been the villain of his video-game for thirty years, destroying a residential building while Fix-It Felix uses his powerful hammer to rebuild what Ralph has destroyed. During the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the game, Ralph is not invited to the party since nobody loves him. Ralph decides to win a medal to become a hero and he goes to the game Hero’s Duty, commanded by the tough Sergeant Calhoun, where he sees the chance of winning the medal. Ralph collects the aimed medal, but when he is returning to his game, he brings accidentally one enemy Cy-Bug with him. Ralph accidentally crashes his plane in the kart-racing game Sugar Rush and loses his medal. When he is ready to retrieve it, the annoying glitch Vanellope von Schweetz takes the medal and uses it to dispute a kart racing in her game. Meanwhile Felix is seeking out Ralph to tell him that their game will be shut down since he is missing. Felix meets Sergeant Calhoun that tells him that the Cy-Bug would destroy any game and he immediately falls in love with her. Ralph helps Vanellope to build her own racing car and becomes her hero; but soon he is convinced by King Candy that Vanellope is just a glitch and she may destroy Sugar Race. Ralph destroys her car and her dreams expecting to protect Vanellope. But when he sees her picture on the cabinet of Sugar Race, he learns that something is wrong in the explanation of King Candy. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Here’s what we found…
It Takes Everyone
Everyone kinda shunned Ralph in his own game because he was constantly wrecking things. What they discovered, however, was that without him breaking things, the game didn’t work… Fix-it Felix didn’t have a purpose without Ralph playing his part. This reminded us that each member of the body of Christ has a purpose to fulfill. God has designed a special part for each of us to play… but for the whole thing to work, we need each other. Each part is necessary.
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5
Experience Grooms Us
Ralph went through times of feeling alone and inferior… he struggled to fit in. Then he met Glitch who, in her own way, struggled with the same feelings. She was different from everyone else, and often felt like an outcast. The two soon struck up an amazing friendship… because they really understood each other. They were able to learn from and support one another. God often does the same with us. He may walk us through difficult situations, but then later we find that He used that time to give us the skills we would need to come alongside someone else who is wrestling with the same things.
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.” 2 Cor. 1:3
At one point in the story, Fix It Felix ends up in jail. He’s wrongfully confused, and this comes after he’s also been rejected by the woman he loves. He complains to Ralph, “But you don’t know what it’s like to be rejected and treated like a criminal…” To which Ralph can reply with certainty, “Oh yes… yes, I do.” I couldn’t help but think of my Savior, broken and bleeding… hanging on a tree for me, after having been mocked, and beaten, and spit upon. It’s tempting to focus on myself and throw a little pity party. I offer excuses to God for my crappy attitudes like, “You just don’t understand… You don’t know what it’s like!” Oh, but He does. He surely does.
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
Sacrifice is Beautiful
Near the end of the movie, it looks as though the evil villain is going to win. For just a moment, Ralph catches a glimpse of a solution. He can defeat the enemy, but it’s going to come at a price. He can save his friends, but not himself. Hello?? Echos of eternity here?
“Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for His friends.” John 15:13
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Incidentally, Noah came up with another application. The villain’s ego and desire for power led to his downfall. It made Noah think of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4), but we also discussed Lucifer and how pride led to his fall as well (Isaiah 14).
There you have it… tonight’s family discipleship lesson brought to you courtesy of Wreck It Ralph. It may seem unconventional, but isn’t this how Jesus discipled? He found ways to weave the truths of His kingdom into the stuff of every day life.
How I love Jesus!