What can The Muppets teach us about God's love?
The Muppets are back! The lovable puppets created by Jim Henson returned in the film The Muppets. All the well-known characters are there, but with a twist. As the film begins, we find that the Muppets have disbanded. Miss Piggy is working in Paris as the editor of Vogue, Gonzo is running a plumbing company in New York, Animal is having treatment for anger management, Fozzie is in a Muppets cover band and Kermit has turned into a recluse. Situations not unlike those many human celebrities have experienced once fame runs out.
All of them are lonely and miss their friends, so jump at the chance to get back together to put on a show and save their old studio from the baddie who wants to drill for the oil beneath it.
The Muppets have been around since the 1960s and so the new film is a chance for a new generation of children to discover the magic that is the Muppets, as well as a trip down memory lane for adults who grew up with the lovable puppets. In some ways that's not unlike when we celebrate Christmas, which was the time when children heard, possibly for the first time about the birth of Jesus, and adults were reminded of how He came to earth. The major difference being that the Muppets aren't real (sorry to break the bad news!), but Jesus is. But while watching well-known characters in a film can help us feel good, how much better to form a lasting relationship with God's son.
When things go wrong in life people often blame God, almost pleading that He take control of their lives so that nothing bad happens to them. But that would make God the puppet-master and we would not be able to make decisions for ourselves. That's not what God wanted when He made us and I doubt that it is the life we would choose for ourselves.
God gave us free choice to make our own decisions on how we want to live our lives. He could have formed us so that we were programmed to love Him, but like any good parent, He wanted our love for Him to be genuine.
Of course no Muppets show would be complete without the resident critics Statler and Waldorf voicing their disapproval. That too is pretty much true to life, when we can so easily be brought down by people, when we are trying our best to cope. But we needn't try and get through by ourselves. God is waiting for us to invite Him to be part of our lives, a life that is directed by our faith in Him.
It is always good to welcome back old friends, even if they are only puppets. Is it time that we welcomed our friend Jesus back into our lives?