The classic Christmas movie The Polar Express delivers a trainload of insightful spiritual comparisons. Last week, I used clips from that movie in a message to courageous ladies involved in drug rehab. We shared some laughs, a few tears, and a boxful of chocolate milk and cookies.
Since The Polar Express sits high on my grandchildren’s list of Christmas movies, I thought it might be fun to get their take on a few of the clips. (Besides, it made for a great writing assignment.) Why not have some fun reconnecting with your childlike spirit? Sit back for a few short minutes, watch the clips, and hear what a 10, 12, and 15-year-old have to say about them. Sometimes, the most profound and meaningful lessons come from those not yet jaded by the world or religion.
I believe this Polar Express scene relates to the Bible by showing how God welcomes everyone aboard His train to become a true believer. Even when the boy was hesitant, the conductor still welcomed him with open arms, and Jesus does the same. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to believe because Jesus is always there, and He will always love everyone.
When the conductor mentioned that the boy wrote no letter to Santa, and made his little sister put out the milk and cookies, that’s like how a lot of people start to ignore God because they think they can handle themselves. It’s important to remember that God is there to help you with any struggle.
In this scene, the conductor is like Jesus. He is always there even when times are scary. Jesus will strap you in, hold you tight, and keep you safe. He is always there to catch you when you fall. He will lead you in the right direction just like the conductor led the train back to the track. Jesus will always put others first. I encourage you to do the same.
In this scene I see a few key ideas that are visible in today’s world. The hobo begins to mock and make light of Santa when the boy brings him into discussion. This is much like how the world mocks God and doesn’t believe He has any significance. Some people think God isn’t real. The world will test your faith just like the hobo tested the boy’s faith. Many people are in the position of the boy.
Throughout the entire movie, the boy has doubts about Santa and if He’s real. He has trouble believing in him. But he’s intrigued by the potential change of belief. There’s something appealing to believing in Santa. Some of the other children have no problem confidently believing in Santa, and they are so excited to be able to see him. Their happiness and joy are interesting to the boy, which makes him want to believe even more. This is similar to how non-believers can be influenced by believers. People will see the joyfulness that Jesus brings them because they believe in Him.
In the Polar Express, the boy finally sees Santa and is recognized by him. Santa finds value in the boy even though he hadn’t previously believed in him. Jesus loves us even though we have sinned and continue to sin. The Polar Express is such a great reminder of things that effect our spiritual lives.
Now, lean in, and allow the apostle Paul to remind you of the incredible journey you have to look forward to when your childlike faith simply lies in Jesus:
“Our faith guarantees us permanent access into this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory! But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!” (Romans 5:2-5, TPT)