“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NRSV)
The Polar Express is a movie released in 2004 and based on a children’s book by the same name. The story centers on a boy who is reaching the age where he is starting to have doubts about Santa Claus. Late on Christmas Eve, the boy is lying in bed hoping to hear the bells from Santa’s sleigh as it lands on his roof. According to the movie, someone could only hear Santa’s sleigh bells if they truly believed. Unexpectedly, the room begins to shake and a thunderous roar permeates the room from outside. The boy peers out the window and observes bright lights and smoke. As he is throwing on his robe, he dashes outside and sees a passenger train in the middle of the street. The boy meets the conductor of the train, who invites him onboard for a trip to the North Pole. After several moments of indecision, he chooses to jump on the train as it begins to depart. Once inside the passenger car, the boy meets other children who, like himself, are also having doubts about Santa Claus. On their journey, they experience terrifying difficulties as well as exciting adventures. At the North Pole, the boy not only gets to meet Santa Claus, but he is also chosen to receive the first gift of Christmas. He chooses one of Santa’s sleigh bells and is thrilled that he can hear it ring. As the children are travelling home on the Polar Express, the boy reaches in his pocket to look at the bell. Unfortunately, the bell had fallen out of a hole in his pocket and no one is able to find it. He returns to his home and climbs into bed and shortly awakens on Christmas morning. Unsure as to whether his trip had been a dream, the boy darts into a living room filled with presents. Curiously, a small present is found under the tree for him. He opens the box and finds his lost sleigh bell with a note from Santa.
This is an enjoyable movie for the entire family. I especially love sitting in the family room watching this movie with my children and a mug of hot cocoa. Just like the boy who makes a journey that is full of awe and excitement, fear and panic, we as Christians are on a journey as well. Our journey is also full of awe, excitement, fear and panic, and this journey helps our faith grow. We do not need bells to help us believe. We have God’s glorious present, Jesus Christ, and His holy word to keep our faith strong.
Our Good Shepherd, You Oh Lord, are our eternal guide. Please continue to lead, guide, strengthen, and bless us for the journey ahead. The way is not always easy, but we know that You will be there with us every single step of the way. We praise You and thank You for Your constant presence. Amen.