I was at Disney World this last week for a conference. I didn’t go to the actual Magic Kingdom, but it was all around me, staying at a resort by Epcot. So, watching all of the hoopla has made me think about the parallel between the Magic Kingdom of Disney World and Mickey Mouse and the Kingdom of God and Jesus.
Think about it. It seems to be every kid’s dream: “I’m going to To Disney World, where everyone’s happy.” I watch as the grounds are manicured and customer service is bar none. Workers scurry around morning and night to keep the flowers and the lawns well manicured, food and drink is plentiful and people seem to be coming and going at all hours. Taxis and airplanes bring in groups and take them away as they keep the dreams coming and going. There are fireworks every night, jugglers and flashing lights. How is this related to the kingdom of God?
Don Richardson wrote a book called “Peace Child” about reaching tribal people in Papua New Guinea. He found a redemptive analogy about the remote tribe he was working with waiting for a peace child to come to pay the price for their sin. He used it to show how Jesus was the peace child and it opened the way for them to accept the gift of salvation as a people group. He said that there’s a redemptive analogy in every culture.
Disney World could be our ‘redemptive analogy.’ Perhaps woven into the American psyche is the dreaming of a place, a magic kingdom where dreams really do come true, is the set up for the kingdom of God. Disney World is not that place where dreams really do come true. It costs too much money, kids still cry, families still fight, and when you leave and fly home it snows and you have to go back to work.
But in longing for a place like that we are really longing for Heaven and for Jesus. Jesus is the real Mickey Mouse and He really is better. He doesn’t have big ears, but He has a big heart for the world. He doesn’t have a high pitched voice, but He holds the world together. He created all things and in Him all things all things hold together. And Heaven is that perfectly manicured place where everything really is perfect.
The Kingdom of God is enduring, and when we get to it we won’t have to go back to work, we will be forever young, and all of our dreams really will come true. Flying back in the airplane, the kids in front and behind of me all had stuffed animals, which I’m sure came at a great price, of Goofy and Minnie and all of the characters. They grasped them tightly as they fell asleep and then as we landed and walked off the plane to a land that was much colder and much less magical.
Kids, let me tell you about a place that doesn’t have Goofy and Minnie to hold on to, but is much more magical and is really real…