#fairytales #theology #valentinesday

“The great lesson of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ – a thing must be loved before it is lovable.” ― G.K. Chesterton |

This is why Beauty and the Beast is my theological fairy tale of choice

Cupid & Psyche–the basis for Beauty and the Beast– is simulataneously the last myth and the first fairy tale ever written…why? Because the transformational power of love and the possibility of “happily ever after” only come into being with the advent of Christianity and a new understanding of what theological hope is, telling a whole different story of good news

Happily Ever After #Job #fairytale #harrypotter #hallowsnothorcruxes

Job 42:10-17

10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money* and a gold ring. 12The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. 13He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. 16After this Job lived for one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. 17And Job died, old and full of days.

So here we are Job (at least one of, if not the) first written fairy tale and it ends happily ever after…so this means that tempted as we are to write this off as a “happily ever after” if this is one of the first AND we make note that there is no such thing

He has more children than before (more boys always important)…is more wealthy and is even able to give his daughters an inheritance….(yay!)

But what makes this a happily ever after is not the kids and the money..its God’s presence...its the knowledge that (remember this is pre-Jesus) bad things can happen to anyone, and it isn’t about judgement.

Happily Ever After is experiencing the love of God!

Its knowing God is present in your life.

Job was GUARENTEED a happily ever after. He has experienced God, and because of that his life will be happy.

No matter what.

Those other details are mere illustrations of the truth of God’s love!

And it makes all the difference…….

That is why after experiencing Jesus Christ, “Happily Ever After” became viable…because we are living into God’s presence…before Jesus Christ there was NO SUCH THING. Now we know death isn’t the end.

We use this theology in fantasy/fairy tales today!

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, p. 328.

  • Engraved on the headstone of James and Lily Potters. Taken from the Bible, (1 Corinthians 15:26)

“It doesn’t mean defeating death in the way the Death Eaters mean it, Harry,” said Hermione, her voice gentle. “It means… you know… living beyond death. Living after death.” p. 329 which of course is what Jesus Christ made possible……changing the world and the way we experience it as we know it

hallows

Here’s to living happily ever after

The Thing about Fairy Tales Is: Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever Afters and Meta

Ingredients of A Fairy Tale=

1 Upon a Time

4 or 5 Stereotypes

3 or 4 Stock Characters

1 simple plot

Good versus Evil

True Love Manifested (depressingly or not)

and possibly ending with Happily Ever After

Told and Retold, Reshaped and Reworked: I LOVE reading all of the versions of fairy tales!

But the thing about fairy tales is that that they are a collection of data on the human race. The more versions you read, the more insight you build about the human race, and the more you allow the stories to interact, the more you start to understand who we are, and how we work!

That’s what is amazing about fairy tales–the more they are stock the more true they are, the more versions exist, the more the human condition is explained…That is what is SO META about fairy tales!!!

A True Story

A teacher and a nurse are left with a faltering church. The teacher is practical and into appearances and the nurse is into rule following and order. Both women help to run the church for 40+ years. In all probability should either of them not have been there the church probably no longer exists.

Neither woman likes the other (in fact there are rumors of the women’s mother’s hating each other), but they are there the two pillars of the church. In walks a policeman. The policeman is new, and yet he gets to irritate both the teacher and the nurse. The teacher hates how he wants to lay out everything in rules, the nurse hates that the policeman likes to always be right.

A new pastor walks in and insists that God wants all these people to be a church.

The people all wrangle, manipulate, yell and complain.

But the pastor says that God put everyone in this church for a reason.

Much more goggosomen,grumblings murmuring and mutterings occured (See John 6:35-51 about goggosomen)

Then the pastor insisted that the church continue to be a church

Then an argument broke out, it might have been between the policeman and the teacher, or the teacher and the nurse or any combination of said participants.

Words were said, aggression became passive for some and active for others.

And in the end the pastor looked at her scripture, threw out her sermon and preached on the Golden Rule in light of the fight that had taken place not ten min before service.

Jesus commands us to love God, anyone who has loved a person with depression, addiction or bad days knows that love is hard work. Happily Ever After is just the beginning of the commitment.

That is what we are doing here as a church–we are vowing to be together forever, to love no matter what and to work on our relationships.

Who here doesn’t have relationships they need to work on? Church is a place to work on those through the empowering and life-changing love that is personified in Jesus Christ.

And every Sunday, every time we gather, whenever two or three gather in Christ’s name–the tone should be that of a wedding, for we are renewing and living out our vow…

The story doesn’t end happily ever after–because the church is too busy, too busy renewing their vows, working together and attempting to love one another no matter what.

Because whether or not the church needs us, or whether or not the God needs us…

The church wants us, and God wants us….God wants to love us, God wants us to reflect that love unto the world so that our entire being is changing…..

And that is something the pastor will avow to till the end of her time!

Image

(funny thing, all these professions are public sector jobs, note the above comic portrays a teacher, a policeman and a nurse)

Deuteronomy 6:4-94Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

 

 

Mark 12:28-34

28One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ —this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question

Shannon A Thompson

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