“The Polar Express” is full of invitations—invitations to trust the unknown, to ride a magnificent train, to journey into the magical and mysterious. But overall, the most significant invitation is to believe in the loving, giving character of Santa.
Throughout the movie, invitations are extended repeatedly, but never forced upon anyone. The boy and others are free to choose whether or not to accept the invitations. Eventually, the boy accepts what he believes in his heart to be true. And he accepts it on faith.
The Bible says, “Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.” Hebrews 11:1 Just as the boy chose to believe in Santa, we can choose to believe in the true meaning of Christmas—the birth of baby Jesus.
As parents, design your Christmas preparations around helping your children believe in Jesus and grow in their belief. Pray together every day. Read the Bible to them or with them. Be involved in worship. Serve others. Give them opportunities to be creative. Sing and dance, paint and play. Celebrate your faith.
As you continue to foster your child’s faith, listen to his/her thoughts, ideas and questions, provide opportunities for your child to experience and journey into the invitation, you will be helping your child believe and hold on to that belief for the rest of their lives. What better Christmas gift could you give?