Thursday, January 5, 2012

Free-for-all Friday: What does God have to do with Polar Express?

I know Christmas is over but with all of this cold weather, you may still be watching this movie...

I'll never forget the first time I saw The Polar Express. I was about five months pregnant with my first child and I went to the theater with my sister and a friend. I remember crying during the movie because it was just so good and sweet and, since it was Thanksgiving, I left truly in the Christmas spirit. Ever since that November day in 2004, we have made watching this movie a family tradition. We break it out early each season and it is watched over and over again until January. Both of my older children were obsessed with it when they were young toddlers, and they still will sit on the couch mesmerized by it. Even though it's watched an extreme amount of times each Christmas, it seems to never get old. So, the other week we were watching it for probably the 200th time and all of a sudden it dawned on me that this movie has a major spiritual tone. I always knew it did with the "believing" concept, but it was like a huge light bulb went off in my head--the characters of the hobo, the conductor and Santa represent the trinity! Stay with me now...

First, let's start with this guy:

I have always wondered what or who he was. Why was he in the story? And why does he look like the conductor and's like they're all the same person, even though they aren't. If you notice, he's always asking the little boy (who isn't sure if he believes in Santa) what he thinks of Santa Claus....does he believe in him. He's always popping up in the story when things get tense and he either helps or questions the little boy's thinking. I think this character represents The Holy Spirit. I figured this out when the little boy picks up the bell at the North Pole and looks at it. If you'll notice in the movie, you'll hear the hobo's voice say "NOW!" really quietly (I had never noticed it before) and THEN the little boy says, "okay, I believe....I believe!". It's like the hobo (HS) was convicting him and making him realize that he does believe.

I think this guy represents Jesus:

He is the one who brings the train full of people to Santa (God). You can't get to the North Pole without him. When Billy is hesitant to get off of the train once it reaches the North Pole, the conductor tells the little girl and little boy that you can't make someone come...they have to be willing. Hmmmmm. AND on the Polar Express song that the conductor sings, he says "you can ride for free, if you just say yes!". We all know that salvation is free for anyone who is willing to accept. He's also aware of the Hobo and refers to him while looking at the little boy with a knowing look in his eye.

So, obviously this guy represents God:

In the movie, Santa is revered by all. He knows the very instant when the little boy says "I believe" and he approaches him by saying, "What is that you said?"

Has anyone else thought of these metaphors before? Am I crazy that I never have? There are so many others....Billy is a poor little boy and some of the others on the train are privileged (salvation is for all people), the elves could represent angels, the North Pole represents Heaven. Your mind could go crazy thinking of all the metaphors. Anyway, I knew I always liked the movie and now I really do. My sister said that she read somewhere once that Tom Hanks (the man behind the movie) is a Christian. I'm not sure if that's true or not, but I hope that he is and that he put these metaphors into the movie purposely. Anyway, just some thoughts by me. Can anyone else think of any other metaphors?

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