This past week, a bunch from my family went to see the movie “Tangled”, featuring the popular story of the Princess Rapunzel, and her long blond hair. I’ll sum it up briefly and say, the movie was the best recent cartoon anyone has put out, and definitely trumps Princess Tiana by far. (Don’t get me started on why Tiana’s movie smelled like swamp water…I’ll just point out that she’s a FROG for 80% of the movie.)
It’s rated “PG”, and stays out of the raunchy innuendo humor that makes movies like Shrek so popular. There is still enough sarcasm, creativity, and wit to make “Tangled” fun for any adult who pretends they’re there because the kids really wanted to see it. There are even some scenes that will make your eyes water just a bit (From what I’ve heard at least. Mine were totally dry throughout. Grunt.)
If you’re unfamiliar with the storyline, here’s a brief introduction. (not really “spoilers”, it’s the first 2 minutes of the film). A drop of sunshine falls to earth, and becomes a flower. The magical flower has powers to heal and bring life, and it’s kept secret by a woman who wants to hoard it’s magic to herself for many years. One day, the pregnant Queen seems like she won’t last long, and the people go searching for the mythical flower. It’s discovered, and by drinking a solution made from it, she survives. Her daughter is born, and it seems the flowers’ powers are now carried in the child’s hair. She is kidnapped by the selfish woman, and she vows to keep the girl hidden forever, just as she had the flower. Once a year, the entire Kingdom releases small lanterns into the air, hoping that wherever she is…she knows she is missed and loved. They want her to return.
I’ll admit, there was a moment in the movie where I got kind of emotional. A beautiful illustration of an entire Kingdom who yearns for their royalty to return, not out of desire for their power, but presence, and out of love for them. A scene where hundreds on hundreds of lanterns are lit, a few at a time and then spreading throughout the Kingdom. They release them into the air together, making a giant communal statement of their love and desire for the return of the princess.
Sure, the illustration falls short if you take it much further. There are also definite faults in the movie, and things that other groups will probably yell about. But in that moment, the connection was made to a church that lights its’ collective lanterns on a regular basis, releasing acts of worship as a communal statement of our love and desire for the return of Christ and completion of what began in Him.
I’m thankful that He does more than gaze at what we’ve released, and feel good, knowing He’s loved. He has promised that the work we do in His name is now and forever connected with the Kingdom that is, and is to come…
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”