Bring In Your Kingdom
by Rev. Nathan Hill
During my family’s recent vacation, I inexplicably found myself deep in thought and reflection about heaven and hell - about what happens to us when we die.
And no, it was not because I am theological nerd.
When you spend over 12 hours in a car with a six year old and a four year old, your mind goes to dark places.
But what really triggered these thoughts was a movie my kids watched from their back seat - Toy Story 3.
How many of you have seen Toy Story 3?
The Toy Story movies are a series of Disney/Pixar children films about a group of toys owned by a boy named Andy and their adventures as they deal with being replaced, sticking together, and discovering their purpose. I’ve watched all three of them quite a few times - they are big hits in the Hill household. Fun stuff. What was different this time was the fact that I could only listen, and as I listened, I couldn’t help but hear the ways this movie speaks about how we understand the afterlife.
In Toy Story 3, the plot centers on the fate of Woody, Buzz, Jesse, and their gang of toys as their world is literally being torn apart. Their owner Andy has grown up, and he is moving off to college. The toys know they are facing their possible demise. The best case scenario? The toys get dropped into the attic to wait and wait and wait until maybe Andy gets married and has kids someday. The worst case scenario? They are put out with the trash. Stuck in this conflict, with their world no longer making sense, with their owner no longer giving them a sense of purpose, they feel their fates, their future, literally hanging in the balance.