A Series of Unfortunate Events – There Goes The Neighbourhood

Theme: The house built on sand

Bible refs: Luke 6 vv 46-49; Matthew 25 vv 31-46

Similar clips: Perfect Storm – Will your anchor hold

Location of clip: 55 mins and 50 secs to 1 hr and 41 secs


Film Description:

The Boudelaire children have lost everything. Their house has burned down, their parents are dead and now they are passed from one strange relative to the next, all the time being pursued by the evil Count Olaf, they fight for their very survival and seek some way to end the misery which life has foisted on them.
Clip description:

The children have been sent to stay with their Aunt Josephine. Josephine is a very nervous person and is worried about all kinds of things happening. The children pop out to go shopping, on their return they find the house empty and a suicide note from their aunt. However it’s clearly not all it seems as she is meticulous about grammar and spelling and the note contains some glaring deliberate errors. Suddenly a storm hits the house and the whole place is torn about in the most violent fashion. Not much point explaining it – you really need to see it.


I used to think that non-Christians built on sand and Christians built on rock – but now I’m not so sure. There are plenty of us Christians, who, having built the main house on something solid, are now adding extensions, greenhouses and outhouses that have very dodgy foundations. I know this cause I just have to look in the mirror each day.

This story doesn’t really work on its own – it refelcts back on the subject matter from what we call The Sermon on the Mount – or you might call it The Stand Up on the Mount because it had plenty of humour in it. These are some of the hot topics Jesus gets his teeth into:
Being productive
Jesus summed up his tale by telling the people that, those who hear his words and do something about them are building on rock.
That’s always the crunch, isn’t it? Always the bit where the rubber does or doesn’t hit the road. It’s so much easier to sing and talk about the wise stuff, applying it is another matter altogether. But just to talk about it only puts us in the same bracket as politicians all over the world. So much good advice, so many hollow promises. Of course, Jesus does encourage us that all of the good things we do in secret are recognised by God. So even though it may be hard to do big acts of kindness – we can still do the little things, the small acts of wisdom.
Likewise, I wonder if many people who don’t yet say they know God are actually doing some building on the hard stuff. It seems to me that many people outside of the church are doing the work of the kingdom. Caring for the poor and the homeless. Counselling the suicidal, the bereaved, the broken. It’s sometimes said that non-Christian friends can be kinder than Christian ones. In Jesus’ parable of the sheep and goats when the sheep get commended for their good works they are astonished – they didn’t even realise what they were doing sometimes. Yet it still counted in their favour.


1.         In our day-to-day living how may we build on the rock?

2.         Did you know you can find the wise and fooolish women in Proverbs 9?
3.         Are you facing any difficult storms right now?
4.         How can we stand with others when they are in the storms?
5.                  Did the clip make you think about anything else?

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