Pastor Bob Woods: God’s method is ‘Happy Feet’ that share the message
I finally saw the movie “Happy Feet.”
What an awesome movie about differing spiritual gifts and our responsibility as stewards of the Earth. This was a great animated movie about a penguin who has a difficult time being accepted by others because he is different. It is a journey to find love and forgiveness, of true friendship, sacrifice, courage and fun.
It is a story as Isaiah says about where our feet need to take us. Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ Look at your own feet and be reminded they have a message to share and a mission to fulfill.”
The movie begins with the Emperor penguin’s love dance one fine summer, a time when the female finds true love in the mate she is meant to have.
The result is an egg. Once the egg is laid, the dad safeguards and tends the egg keeping it warm during the frozen polar winter while the mom goes off to fish, so that when the egg hatches Mom will have plenty to feed the baby. During Dad’s charge, he accidentally drops the egg and is clearly concerned that he may have damaged the egg. Dad is even more convinced when their egg is the last to hatch. When he does hatch, he comes out feet first and immediately begins to tap dance on the snowy icy landscape.
His father and the elders are shocked because “it’s just not Penguin” to dance. He is given voice lessons because singing is what is normal for Emperor penguins. It is, after all, how they find the right mate. Mom, however, loves her son just the way he is and gives him the name “Happy Feet.” However our star is (like Rudolf with the red nose) too odd to be included in regular society especially singing, because he does not have a pleasant voice.
If he can’t sing, how will he find his heart song – his true love. His dad encourages him by saying, “You’ll know her by a wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk.”
All he really wants is to belong!
The elders blame his “Happy Feet” for the shortage of food, fearing he has offended God, (“The Quin”). Our star sets out on a journey to find the real reason for the lack of fish. Along with him go a group of Latino penguins who admire him for his gift of dance. They support him and lead him to the wise Lovelace. Happy Feet places himself in danger to save his friends and family.
So the wise one Lovelace, who is called this because he has a soda bottle ring around his neck, leads the troop to the “aliens” (humans) who are responsible for the fish shortage. Along the way, they are chased by huge killer whales, a collapsing glacier and other hardships. When they find the aliens (humans), they first come to a church, complete with cross.
At the end of the film, the humans come and see all the penguins dancing – they take some video. It shows some scenes from the UN and the Senate of the United States … the humans decide to stop fishing in Antarctica and the fish return. The penguins abandon their “old ways” and become happy all the time.
The film has an environmental plot of over-harvesting artic fish. It points out the adverse effects on animals whose survival depends on this source of food. The great Quinn (God) didn’t put things out of whack; the aliens (humans) did.
We need to start taking responsibility for your own actions. The clock is ticking, and lives literally hang in the balance, and we need to work as if there is no tomorrow.
Throughout the movie, the Elders of the High Council are portrayed as being very traditional; almost to the point of being intolerant of anything that is different from their usual way of life (hence the “stop freakin” us with da’ feet). They were critical, self-righteous, had no faithful vision and seemingly had no love, much the same as Pharisees, frequently insisting that the rules of the elders must be followed or God will not bless them. In Matthew 15:12 the disciples tell Jesus-“don’t you know the Pharisees were offended by your words?” (paraphrased). I believe Jesus saved his harshest words for the Teachers of the Law. The bible teaches in James 3:1 that we who teach will be judged more strictly. “A new command I give you” Jesus taught: “Love one another.”
Mumbles by contrast has a kind and right heart, his feet are his expression of life and song, like Jesus, and he never gives up. He shows courage and love for all. He demonstrates a humble spirit, never making himself higher than his parents or those in charge, even when they were wrong. All Good Christian qualities that we want our children to follow. Happy Feet is chastised and labeled as being “different.” What the flock and hopefully us learn to appreciate is that our differences can lead us to a greater united strength.
“But instead, there is [absolute] necessity for the parts of the body that are considered the more weak. And those [parts] of the body which we consider rather ignoble are [the very parts] which we invest with additional honor and our unseemly parts and those unsuitable for exposure are treated with seemliness (modesty and decorum), which our more presentable parts do no require. But God has so adjusted (mingled, harmonized, and subtly proportioned the parts of) the whole body.” – I Corinthians 12:22-24
Our star wasn’t a singer, he was a dancer and, thus, treated as an outcast among his own. It wasn’t until it became clear that the aliens (humans) were responsible for the food shortage – that he was welcomed and accepted by his group. Jesus teaches us to love one another regardless of our differences, whether those differences be skin/hair/eye color, nationality, sexual identity or, dare I say, musical preference. The film “Happy Feet” celebrates the differences among all of us, and teaches us that even though we may be different, we are all celebrated and loved by God. If we take care of the earth God gave us, we also will be taking care of each other, as brothers and sisters in Christ. Look at your own feet and see where they are taking you. Any questions call Pastor Bob at 824-2266.
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