On this last Sunday, we did a little team activity before watching the conclusion to Haibane Renmei.
Last week, we discussed how we can used media to witness to others. This Sunday, we broke up into groups to brainstorm about how specific social media platforms could be personally used to honor God:
- The Instagram group noted that they could take pictures of church events, to show that Christians don’t have to meet negative stereotypes. The hope is to reach out specifically to unchurched friends.
- The Youtube group liked the idea of creating God-centered videos (or videos that at least mention God) and hoping they would catch on, but perhaps making those videos part of a project that isn’t specifically about Christianity, and thereby encouraging others and an audience that they might not otherwise reach.
- On Facebook, you could develop relationships through your posts and messages, and there are certainly lots of options to communicate with people, invite them to events, and share significant messages.
The hope is that we don’t use a large portion of our life – our web existence – for pure intake. We also give by loving God and loving others on our favorite sites.
Summaries (taken from Wikipedia)
Rakka discovers that Reki’s entire studio is painted like her cocoon dream. Rakka gives Reki the wooden tablet containing her true name, which fills the latter with despair. She has regretted ever being born in this world seven years ago, exiling hrerself from others and showing no trust in them. She wanted to always be there for Rakka in order to finally find salvation for herself. She throws Rakka out of her studio, confronts a crumbling stone manifestation of herself, and relives her dream. Rakka finds out the truth about the struggle Reki is going through via her diary, realizing that Reki wanted to protect her all along. Rakka goes back inside the studio, but is stopped by the manifestation. After Reki calls out for Rakka, the manifestation disappears. She saves Reki from being hit by a foggy image of a train. Reki departs on her Day of Flight, something all the Haibane will never forget. As spring nears, Rakka sees two cocoons beginning to sprout out of the ground inside a room.
One central comment made in the class was that Reki was trying to earn salvation through works. Ultimately, she couldn’t achieve her own salvation, and the burden of the distance between the works necessary to be good and her own heart took her further and further away. She only came to salvation when 1) she responded 2) in faith 3) to grace:
- Reki literally had to call out for help, reminiscent of Romans 10:9: “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…”
- Reki has been trying to earn salvation herself all along – she needed to ask for help, but was unable to trust others. She was finally able to trust Rakka with saving her.
- Reki hurt Rakka and pushed her away, but Rakka went back in love, even though Reki didn’t deserve that love.
All this displays the overarching theme of the series – no matter what we do, no matter the depths of our sin, no matter how far we push ourselves away from God, grace still is there. And that’s a great reassurance to us in our faith and as we go out to reach a world in need.