Theme: Family feuding
Bible refs: Genesis 37
Similar clips: The Straight Story – I Just Want To Sit With My Brother
Location of clip: 28 mins 50 secs to 33 mins 41 secs
The March sisters – Meg, Beth, Jo and Amy – live out a simple but full life in their home in Concord, New England. They, study, do domestic chores, dream of the future, make up stories and have a rich social life. As the years pass we see these girls grow up together, develop friendships and romances, show compassion, battle illness and face death.
Jo is particularly creative, and dreams of one day becoming a writer. She regularly pens stories and spends long hours working on them.
The older girls are going to a party, but Amy is too young to go. Jo taunts her about this. Amy’s frustration grows and eventually she vents her anger on Jo. While the older girls are out Amy takes Jo’s latest book and throws the manuscript on the fire. When Jo returns she finds the remnants of her writing in the ashes. She is furious and flings herself at Amy. They fight – declaring they hate one another. Their mother separates them and tries to speak peace into the situation. But Jo is very hurt. Eventually the two sisters make up and peace is restored. But it takes time and is a painful situation.
I recall listening to a radio show and hearing the DJ read an anonymous letter from a daughter about the rift between her and her mother. The rift was so bad they had not spoken in years. The DJ then played a record, and afterwards told the listeners that the phone lines had been jammed by mothers phoning up and asking, “Is that letter from my daughter?”
Our lives can be littered with a trail of bitter memories and lost relationships.
Why is it so hard to say “I’m sorry.”? Especially to those we are closest to. Some of us find ways to bluff through our mistakes, feeling sorry but, not able to say it. Some of us are the opposite of course, apologising all the time, just in case we should overlook any major bloopers.
We see the evidence of whole communities that have been split because of a disagreement they can barely remember. Sometimes it seems as if grievances take over people’s lives, become their very reason for living. It’s hard to forgive and forget, but it’s so unhealthy if we keep brewing that poison and letting it course through our system.
1. Often churches can be places where old grudges have not been sorted out. What do you think about this?
2. Are you aware of situations where you could do with a large helping of God’s grace to help you forgive or ask for forgiveness?
3. Are you able to pray for those who have hurt you? This can be very painful and very difficult if we’ve been really hurt.
4. How on earth could Jesus have hung on that cross and prayed “Father forgive them”? If you’ve seen the Passion you’ll know the courage he needed to pray that prayer.
5. Did the clip make you think about anything else?