Pastoral Ponderings– Fireworks and Faith
When I see a sign driving into church about winter storm warnings all day tomorrow, it’s hard to wrap my arms around the thought that we were basking in the FL sunshine at Disney this time last week! Several of you have been asking, and yes, we had a great time. Not sure if I’d say “relaxing,” but a certainly a good recharge. Folk like to ask, too, “What was your favorite ride?” I’m sorry to disappoint, but my favorite ride there is never a ride, but the time together in that unique, you might even say magical atmosphere! If that sounds like too much of a cheat for an answer, how about the closing fireworks shows? Still not a ride, but they are awesome and glorious! We saw the one at EPCOT one night, at the Magic Kingdom one night, and saw Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios two nights.
I REALLY love those shows—not just the fireworks, but how they weave together the stories in the world of Disney magic, a world whose characters both exemplify the challenges of human pain, and the glories and victories over every challenge of the heroes and sheroes (usually Disney princesses!) working the magic of saving the day. It almost sounds religious, doesn’t it? And that’s where my love of these shows bumps into my theology.
In what is often called our “post-Christian” world, have we replaced the saving, transforming God of the universe, with a flashier, mousey god of Disney magic? Many of us schedule and count on our regular pilgrimages to that holy place to lift our spirits, and bring an excitement and dedication to those altars that every church covets, and that would bring new life to countless places of Christian worship if we brought that excitement and dedication there. Why do we tend to get more excited about mousey magic, than the joys of Jesus?
I REALLY love those shows—but it’s a guilty pleasure when I’m often not as excited about Jesus as I am about those fireworks! What does that say about my faith? I don’t know, other than that my walk of faith needs some work, and in Methodist terms, I’ve a long way go in my “growing on to perfection.” Maybe just being aware of the warning those fireworks bring will be enough to help me gain a bit more focus of where my faith COULD be, even if it’s not there yet.
Still pondering—Pastor Jim