Let it Go

            For the past several years, Disney Animated Studios has been on a roll.  The studio has been releasing instant classic after instant classic.   Even though recent releases such as Moana have already become respected favorites, the 2013 release of Frozen still stands out as one of the most impactful.  The strong characters, catchy songs, and nuanced plot will ensure that this is a movie that sticks around for generations.   Like all of the best stories, Frozen touches on the greatest story of all.  One of the great appeals of Frozen is that it is a story about love, but it focuses on more than just romantic love.   Frozen tells a story of an all-consuming sacrificial love.   This is the same kind of love found in the Bible, the same kind of love God has for creation, and the same kind of love displayed on the cross. 

            There is one scene that summarizes this theme.   In this scene the snowman Olaf is trying to help Princess Ana who has had her heart  frozen by her sister’s icy powers.  The only way that Ana can be cured and saved from turning to ice is by an act of true love.  To help keep her warm, the snowman builds a fire and this conversation happens: 

“Some people are worth melting for.”    In Romans Paul wrote the exact same thing.  He just does it in a more verbose way:  “You see, at just the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”    On the cross Jesus communicated to us that some people are worth melting for.   We were all worth dying for.   The uncomfortable question, though is what makes us worth it?   Paul, knew this was the question, which is why he went on in Romans to write: “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, but for a good person someone might dare to die.”   Paul is brutally honest, and points out that when it comes down to it, most people are not worth that high of a cost.   In the way we normally view things, most people are not worth melting for.   Thankfully he continues and writes “But God demonstrated his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ dies for us.”  

 What is it that Jesus saw in us, that he thought we were worth melting, worth dying for?  If we are being honest with ourselves, we know that we are not the kind of good or righteous person that someone might die for.   At best, we are a fixer upper.  If anything, Jesus qualifies as the kind of person that we should be willing to die for.   This is why, we are left with the question, what makes us worth it?   It would honestly be more comfortable if there was something that we had to do to earn it.  Earning something is very comfortable for us, we do a lot better with the idea of earning something than being given something.  The infuriating beauty of this morning’s scripture, of the gospel, is precisely that we cannot earn it.    Christ died while we were still powerless and he died for the ungodly.  There is no way we can prove ourselves worthy or pay back the debt.  Christ died for everyone who is stuck in sin, whose back is turned on God, and even for those who take great pride in their ungodliness.   I cannot fathom the reasons why or the depths of God’s great love, but out of that love he found all of us worth melting for.   We cannot earn it, the gift has already been given.   Love is an open door, we just walk through it and accept what has already been done for us.   

We cannot earn God’s love and salvation, but surely we must respond to it.  Out of great love God sacrificed his son.   He took all of our personal sin, evil, wrongdoing and He let it go.   If we truly claim that kind of love in our life, then it must be life changing, we have to respond and change in some way.   We cannot pay God back and earn it, so how do we respond?   The answer to that question, may not be the most comfortable one of us.  After washing his disciple’s feet Jesus said in John 13:15 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”  And Philippians 2:5 reminds us that we should have the very mindset of Christ.   This example set, this mindset is that Christ died for the ungodly.   The example given is being able to tell people that they are worth melting for.   The example given is showing an act of true love to those who do not deserve it.   In order to do this, we need God’s help to break the frozen heart.   The heart we need to break though is our own.

I do not care how good of a person you are, there is at least one person in your life you cannot stand.   Be honest, there is.  Sometimes it is just simple personality clashes that put us as at odds with people.  Through no true fault of their own there is something about that them that we find grating.   Other times there are people we cannot stand because we have a difference with them.   Other times there are people who have deeply hurt us or hurt someone we love, and we cannot let that go.    We have to remember that all of those people the ones who annoy us, the ones who hurt us, the ones we consider enemies, and even the ones that on darker days we say hate- God loves them all.  Jesus died for them.   If we are going to respond appropriately to that same love shown to us, then we have to be willing to love those people in that same true love sort of way.   To do this, we have to stop seeing them as our enemies, we have to stop focusing on the reasons why we tell ourselves they are bad people.   We have to see them the way that God sees them, because God saw those people as worth dying for- and we should too.  

If you are holding on to negative assumptions that cause you to look down on people.  Let it go.  If you are holding onto past pain.  Let it go.  If you are clinging to hate and bitterness. Let it go.  If you are refusing to forgive.   Let it go!   Then for the first time in forever, you will experience God’s love more intensely because now you are loving as Christ loved you.  

May you know that you are so loved by God that Jesus considered you worth melting for.   And may you consider others in the same way.   May you share the unimaginable true love of Christ with the sinner and ungodly people who you know need it.   This day, if there is coldness in your heart then may you have the courage to ask God to crack the ice apart and break the frozen heart.   In one of the songs on the Frozen soundtrack the trolls sing: “Throw a little love their way, and you’ll bring out their best.  True love bring out the best.”    May you find this to be true, because when we dare to love others we find that it brings out the best in us.   

 

 

Chocolate Zombies

Jedi Sunday School