I watched "The Polar Express" for the first time tonight with my nephew, Howard. The movie is a good one; butI thought it was actually kind of scary in some parts. Maybe it's me being sensitive to Howard, who himself is a very sensitive little boy. But, he didn't seem to be too bothered by the parts I was concerned he might be.
While watching the movie, I was thinking about how it can be likened to the biblical stories about the lost coin, the lost sheep, or the prodigal son. The woman swept her whole house until the coin was found. The father rejoiced when his wayward son returned. And the little boy found his heart warmed by the bell that was returned to him, which symbolized his belief in Santa Claus; his belief in the wonder of Christmas. These can all be compared to faith. How there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents!*
The Polar Express is "about" a little boy renewing his "faith" in Santa Claus. But I think that it speaks to a deeper faith; the faith that gives us a reason for Christmas at all. The bell was found, lost, and then given back to the boy. How similar to our faith that tells us that Jesus seeks us, even when we feel lost, and gives us a new identity as ones linked with Christ. The hero in the story hears the bell and continues to hear the bell even when the world around him ceases to be able. There were conflicting experiences regarding the bell. May we go forth this Christmas season hearing the sounds of faith, despite the conflicting messages that tell us otherwise. Thanks be to God!