"all aboard!....tickets, please!"
on sunday we felt like we had boarded our own kind of magical train ride. our day began with a fun and meaningful worship service in which we used the 2004 film "the polar express" as a lens through which to look at our faith. we talked about Jesus and his disciples in matthew 18, when the disciples are arguing about who is the best follower, and who's got it all figured out, and Jesus silences all of them by bringing a child into the middle of their silly bickering and tells them that if they really want to live the full, joyful, peaceful, and abundant life, they need to start viewing life through the eyes of a child.
christmas is a great time to take stock of how you are doing at looking at life through the eyes of a child, and "the polar express" is a great reminder of it. when the boy opens that last little package at the end of the movie, and when he holds that bell up to his ear, we all lean forward in our chairs just a bit to see if it will ring for him or not. will he hear it?
of course he hears it. the bell rings for those who believe. the same is true in our faith. when we believe -- against all our deepest fears and all the darkest news the world has to offer -- we open ourselves up to hearing the bell of our faith, which rings with tones so deep and vibrant we can scarcely imagine them until we hear them. the bell rings for those who are willing to believe. the bell rings deeply and wildly and joyously for those who believe the crazy claims of this season, that God would enter into this broken world of deep fears and dark news in order to save it. it's far-fetched, i know, but if you will believe, you will hear the sound of joy.
so we had a great worship service, and then later that afternoon we got to board a vintage restored train here in sunbury for a 60 minute ride complete with a reading of "the polar express," the book upon which the film was based.
our good friends Bill and Meg (pictured above with quinton), invited us to be their guests once again on the train, and we got to sit in the dining car, listen to the story, eat snacks, sing Christmas songs, and even visit with rudolph, frosty, buddy the elf, the grinch, and Santa himself! we had a blast, and it was the perfect ending to a day full of the wonder of the season, and the joy of being with friends and family.