Summary: It has been said that sometimes what we mistake for ingratitude is actually self love. This message looks at what makes us thankful
Let Go of Self Love
A year ago the word Frozen referred to food that was in your freezer and “Let it Go” was something you told you four year old when you wanted them to release their grip on a toy or their sibling or when you were counselling someone over some hurt from the past.
That all changed on November 27th of last year when Disney released “Frozen” on an unsuspecting world. The animated movie is loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s story “The Snow Queen”. And it wasn’t the first time that Disney used an Anderson story as inspiration, The Ugly Duckling was released in 1931 in Black and White and then again in 1939 in colour. And of course the most successful adaptation, until Frozen was the Little Mermaid.
But Frozen changed all that, but it wasn’t easy. For those of us brought up on Hans Christian Anderson’s tales you know that the Snow Queen was not a light hearted tale.
Anderson’s version begins with an Evil Troll called the Devil, the Snow Queen was Evil and Anna’s name was Gerda and she wasn’t related to the Snow Queen at all. The only other differences were that Kristoff’s name was Kay, Sven’s name was Bai there was no snowman named Olaf or prince named Hans. Kay is taken captive by the Snow Queen and it rescued by Gerda and the Reindeer.
Two notable things about the story, Gerda gains entrance into the Snow Queen’s castle after she prays the Lord’s Prayer and the story ends with Gerda and Kay back home and all grown up. And in closing Gerda’s grandmother reads to them from Matthew 18:3 “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
But there is a Queen and there is Snow. I think the term would be “inspired” by Hans Christian Anderson’s story. But it obviously worked because to date it has accumulated over $1.2 billion in worldwide box office revenue,
It ranks as the highest-grossing animated film of all time, the fifth highest-grossing film of all time, the highest-grossing film of 2013, and the third highest-grossing film in Japan.
Frozen won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song ("Let It Go"),the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film, five Annie Awards (including Best Animated Feature), and two Critics' Choice Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song ("Let It Go").
And you are thinking: so what? Well, over the next seven weeks or so we are going to be looking at things that we need to let go of as we follow Christ. Things that keep us frozen in our Christian walk. Things that shouldn’t bother you anyway, but do.
What are those things that we need to Let Go of when we meet Christ? Things that may be acceptable for us to hold unto before we met Jesus but really have no place in our lives after we meet Jesus. And we think that some of those things are pretty simple, but we don’t always get it.
The story that was read for us earlier is a very familiar part of the Jesus story, as a matter of fact I preached from this same passage a year ago when we started our series on the Walking Dead. But at that time I focused on the nine lepers who didn’t come back and this morning I’d like to take the time to focus on the one leper who did come back.
So, you know the story. Jesus and his apostles are approached by this group of Lepers begging for something they could barely imagine.
They are asking to be healed, for Jesus to stop the progression of this horrible disease that has robbed them of all they had. Ten are healed and they go their way, but then one stops and comes back to thank Jesus. Here is a pop quiz, how many were thankful? Probably all ten. They just didn’t express their thanks, but I guess the question is: if they didn’t express their thanks were they really thankful? If we don’t express our gratitude for what we have, and for what people do for us are we grateful? When our kids are little we teach them to say thank-you, or at least I hope we do. Perhaps British Poet Walter Savage Landor had it right when he wrote, “We often fancy that we suffer from ingratitude, while in reality we suffer from self-love.” And so on this thanksgiving Sunday I would challenge you to Let go of Ingratitude or Self-Love or whatever it it that keeps you from suffering from thanklessness.
So what do we learn from the man who came back? Luke 17:12 As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance. . . The first thing is that He Understood His Hopelessness