Between October 28 and November 6, Grace Church proudly presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast! If you haven’t purchased your tickets, there may still be some available. The show centers around transformation through grace, forgiveness and love. Over the next 10 days, Be Our Guest and check out our daily devotionals centered around these themes and the production! Check back every day for the latest devotional!
BY SUE ROSECRANS, GRACE ATTENDER
During the opening number, the town folks keep their distance from Belle. Why? “The Girl is strange, no question dazed and distracted..never part of any crowd.” As she sits on a bench with some of the village children, their mother nervously moves in to scoop the children away from impending doom-sitting next to Belle. Villagers sing, “Look there she goes—that girl so peculiar. What a puzzle to the rest of us. I’m afraid she’s rather odd very different from the rest of us.”
Ever wondered what the folks in your life think of you? Do you have anyone in your life who thinks going to church regularly, reading the Bible consistently and praying often is odd or peculiar? Is it alright to be different? Sometimes being different is the only way to be. I am pretty sure that almost every person written about in the Bible was seen at some point during their lifetime as odd, strange or different. Think about Abraham, Noah, Elijah, Elisha, Joseph, David, Rahab, Ruth, Mary, John the Baptist and even Jesus. Odd. Strange. Different.
Being different can be uncomfortable. Being different isn’t easy. Going with the crowd is easy. Feeling different, being looked at as strange can feel lonesome. Later, with the Beast in the library Belle states, “In the town I come from, the people think I am odd. So I know how it feels to be different. And I know how lonely that can be.” Feeling different doesn’t have to feel lonely or uncomfortable. Being different from the crowd can be one of life’s greatest joys.
If you have surrendered your life to Jesus, you are on the greatest adventure this life can offer. You are never alone. “Because God has said never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 )You are also doing life with the craziest, out of the ordinary, weird folks, fellow Christ-followers. You are on the journey of a lifetime. And, you are traveling with a zany, ridiculously loving, fun, compassionate, crazy people. If you have never jumped into this life with Christ, you do not know what you are missing. You will never be the same. Right now, in rehearsals or during performances you are surrounded by zany, ridiculously loving, fun, compassionate, crazy people who love Jesus with their whole heart and would gladly talk to and answer any of your questions. Following Jesus will seem odd to many people. Living your life for His upside-down inside-out kingdom will appear out of the ordinary, even to those closest to you. Beauty and the Beast were both a little odd. They were both lonely and trapped in a world that often frustrated them. When they let down their guard and looked into love’s eyes different became beautiful. Love transforms different, odd, strange into incredible, amazing, extraordinary. You were created to shine forth His beauty. Surrender to love and watch as you became a radiant reflection of grace and mercy. Show the world how beautiful different can be.
Who do you think is beautiful, cool or special? Why? How does God view beauty, strength and being popular?
How does God look at the best athletes at your school?
Do you think Belle was popular when she was in junior high or grade school?
Name someone the other kids call “odd or different.”
Do you feel “odd or different” at school?
Do you think Jesus felt “odd or different” when He was growing up?
How you think the God who created the zebra, the platypus, and butterflies from hairy worms called caterpillars thinks about the labels “odd or different”?
How can you act more like Jesus when you are around someone the other kids believe is different even odd?
“There’s no one quite like you among the gods, O Lord, and nothing to compare with your works. All the nations you made are on their way, ready to give honor to you, O Lord, Ready to put your beauty on display, parading your greatness, And the great things you do— God, you’re the one, there’s no one but you!” Psalm 86:8-10 (MSG)
“I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet” Psalm 27:4 (MSG)
“A terrible beauty, O God, streams from your sanctuary. It’s Israel’s strong God! He gives power and might to his people! O you, his people—bless God!” Psalm 68:35(MSG)
“Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise, who shout on parade in the bright presence of God. Delighted, they dance all day long; they know who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet! Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us— you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air! All we are and have we owe to God, Holy God of Israel, our King!” Psalm 89:17-18 (MSG)
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-6 (NIV)
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt?” Matthew 7:1-6 (MSG)