I remember well my first trip to Walt Disney World as a kid. It was 1971, and the year that the Magic Kingdom opened in Florida. What was my favorite attraction? The Pirates of the Caribbean! The original version at Disneyland, in California, had debuted in 1967. In fact Pirates was the last attraction for which the construction was overseen by Walt Disney himself.
It’s still a hit. Even the fifth installment of the movie (“Dead Men Tell No Tales”) earned $62.2 million in its first three days. The film cost $230 million to produce, but ticket sales and related revenues will far exceed that mind-blowing number. The international appeal is nearly beyond description, and most of Disney’s profits will come from overseas. Hopefully you didn’t invest everything you own in Baywatch. We’ll see what Wonder Woman can do, but I doubt that Johnny Depp is staying up late worrying about it.
We’re fascinated by pirates. (Especially we boys.)
O.K., so maybe you didn’t let your kids play pirate. Burning villages, robbing, stealing women – not exactly Christian virtues. But aren’t we all just a bunch of mischief-makers and scoundrels desperately in need of mercy? We’ve gone rogue. Check out Ephesians 2:1-3 before you write me off. Paul the Apostle describes us like a bunch of half-crazed men still trying to find our treasures in all the wrong places – and in all the wrong ways. We were the sons of disobedience.
That’s the wonder of the gospel! It reaches the likes of you and me. And it’s even better than mercy – it’s grace! Read further and soak in Ephesians 2:8-10. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Can you believe that? The riches we’ve been looking for – and far more – are all in Him.
Without Christ, we were like those skeletons scattered along Disney’s pseudo-beach in that Pirates attraction. But now we’ve been forgiven and freed (Ephesians 1:7). Now we have received Christ’s resurrection power! We can move with His life and breath in us. We can even obey God – and accomplish great things by His grace and for His glory. Imagine that.
There, I said it. God loves scallywags. I am so glad He does.