Movie clips for sermon illustration
July 22, 2007 11:27 PM   Subscribe

Sermon Illustration (preferably a movie) for questioning the meaning/purpose of life, or the idea of having a "new life" or renewed spirit.

I'm doing a message at my church and I'm having difficulty coming up with a movie clip or something to illustrate the message. I am introducing the message by asking about the meaning of life, and it'd be cool to have some movie clip to show where the meaning or purpose of life was questioned. AND, i'm talking about having a "newness of life"- "I have come so that you may have life, and have it abundantly" - Jesus. So, any clip (like a humorous clip) where someone felt they had a new life, or were renewed. Or even where someone falsely thought they were, and ended up finding out they weren't. (I picture an old lady thinking she is young again, jumping out of her wheelchair and dancing around, only to fall to the ground quite quickly, or something like that).

Any ideas? Thanks!
posted by kraigory to Religion & Philosophy (8 answers total)
Phenomenon with John Travolta. He believes he's been given something like a new life, but turns out, it's a brain tumor. Not really funny though.

Cocoon. Old people given youthful energy.
posted by clh at 12:01 AM on July 23, 2007

You could go for the classic clip from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...

Or for potentially slightly blasphemous options, Monty Python's Meaning of Life or Life of Brian. Both have the question, but less of the 'new life' and spirit.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:21 AM on July 23, 2007

There's that middle section in Groundhog Day where the character is doing anything and everything he's ever wanted, including stealing from armored trucks and driving a car down railroad tracks. Actually the whole movie is about the character trying to find a purpose to his life so he can stop repeating his mistakes.
posted by Tuwa at 6:01 AM on July 23, 2007

There's a scene in Joe Vs. the Volcano in which Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are having a boat-deck conversation after dinner and she relates that her father believes that 95% of the people in the world are sleep-walking and the other 5% live in a state of constant and utter amazement.
posted by gallois at 8:49 AM on July 23, 2007

The diner scene at the end of Pulp Fiction.
posted by The World Famous at 9:48 AM on July 23, 2007

The whole movie is a metaphor for what you are talking about, but it may be too icky for a sermon: the "birth" scene in The Matrix, where Neo is fighting his way out of his pod.
posted by The Deej at 10:24 AM on July 23, 2007

In one scene in "Lisa vs Malibu Stacy", Grampa is shown riding a bike with no hands while exclaiming "Look at me! I'm acting young!". Unfortunately, Lisa's discarded doll jams in his spokes and he is catapulted into an open grave.

He then says "Hey, this ain't so bad."

There's another possibly even more appropriate scene in the same episode where Grampa sees a TV commercial where drinking buzz cola makes old people act like "crazy teenagers". Check out this clip from around the one minute mark. His attempt to replicate this effect is a complete failure - "The bubbles are burning my tongue!"
posted by teleskiving at 11:00 AM on July 23, 2007

You can get some good stuff at

Just remember, if you are using film clips from DVDs (not worshiphouse media), you need permission. You can get it at Just make sure your movie's producer is on their producer list.

The nice thing about worshiphouse is that a lot of their stuff is funny, edgy, whatever, and once you buy a clip, you own it (no DRM), and it can be easily imported into Powerpoint, and you don't need an annual license.

The bad thing is that you have a lot to wade through, and their search function is lame.
posted by 4ster at 3:05 PM on July 23, 2007

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