Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Aston . . .
“The Return of the King” is the third film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The film continues its legacy with a classic storyline, powerful performances and fantastic action sequences. The MPAA rated it PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and frightening images.
Should our kids see it?
There will be one major issue: the film contains plenty of violence. The film is about a war, and you’ll see plenty of bloody battles. No sex, no foul language, no crude humor, no teenagers with attitudes to imitate . . . just a bunch of bloody battles. I know with my own kids, the only objection I had was if the film would scare them. I didn’t want my youngest sleeping in my bed for the next three weeks! But most jr. high and high school students should be fine. Check out www.screenit.com for a more detailed review of content and review the film personally to make your own decision.
ALSO, CLICK HERE FOR JONATHAN'S REVIEW OF THE FILM
If you decide to watch it, consider this great discussion starter covering the topics of attitude, joy, worry, or perspective:
In this scene we witness Gandalf and Pippen’s discussion when Minas Tirth was overtaken by Sauron’s army. The clip starts in chapter 38 on the Extended Version DVD, 127 minutes and 11 seconds into the movie (depending on the DVD version you have, the chapter and time will vary).
The enemy was closing in, a Troll was beating down the door . . . things looked pretty bleak.
Pippen: I didn’t think it would end this way.
The clip ends at 128 minutes 40 seconds.
(Gandalf looks at him with surprise.)
Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it.
Pippen: What, Gandalf? See what?
Gandalf: White shores and beyond. A far green country under a swift sunrise.
Pippen: Well, that isn’t so bad.”
Gandalf: No, it isn’t.
Gandalf lays out a proper perspective, a peek at what “the afterlife” looks like—an eternal perspective during hopeless times.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- Start off your small group time by reading this passage:
Philip. 4:4-13 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Describe one of your best memories . . . a time when you felt extremely fulfilled.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Describe a time where everything looked extremely bleak . . . a time when a lot was going wrong, life was filled with worries or anxiety, and maybe you felt like there was no hope.
- ASK ONE OR TWO: In the movie clip you just saw, Pippen was thinking that it was all over. He thought this was the end. He was pretty down, he was anxious, worried—no hope. What changed his perspective?
- ASK A FEW: This passage talks about two different choices in attitude: ANXIETY or JOY. Which would you want, WORRY or PEACE? Why?
- ASK ONE OR TWO: Gandalf told Pippen to think about the afterlife. What does Paul tell us to think about instead of worrying? (vs. 8) If we think about these things, and if we put the teachings of the Bible into practice, then according to verse 9 what happens? (“the God of peace will be with you.”)
- ASK A FEW: It has been said that people are like tea bags. When they’re in hot water, you find out what’s inside. When trouble comes your way, when you’re in “hot water,” how do you respond—or, what “comes out?”
- ASK ONE OR TWO: In verse 13 Paul gives us “the secret” that he referred to in verse 12, the secret “of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” What is this secret? (depending totally on God for strength)
- ASK A FEW: Describe what “depending on Him,” or “doing everything through him” looks like on a day to day basis.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are some attitude adjustments or steps of faith you can take this week to depend on Him through trials and tough times?