In 1904, J. M. Barrie, wrote a play that would become an instant classic – Peter Pan, or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. Premiering in 1904 in London, it soon became a novel and over the years a variety of adaptations caused it to be considered a classic piece of literature. Almost 50 years later, Walt Disney released an animated version that has become well-loved and shared with generations of children.
What is it about this play, novel, film that caught the fancy of so many children and adults throughout the years? The story centers around the young boy Peter, who, as the story goes, ran away from home the day he was born because he heard his parents talking about all the things he would do when he was a man. Not wanting to live as an adult, he went to live with the fairies so that he would never have to grow up. Peter is a classic character who does something we’ve all thought about – he chooses to never grow up; to remain a child for his entire life.
It is tempting to remain a child. Life is easy – people care for you – feed you, clothe you, pay for your needs and wants. There are no worries, no expectations, and life is simple. While the thought of living that way permanently is appealing, we all know that, in reality, we have to grow up and live in the world as an adult. We understand the need to grow up, get our education, have a job, perhaps raise a family. But, do we also understand the need to grow up spiritually?
This month, during worship, we will be exploring that topic – Growing Up In Christ. Sometimes we can be like Peter Pan, wanting to stay a child in our faith. It is easy – there are no expectations. But, is that really what we want? If we are truly to follow Christ, to grow up in him, we need to understand what that means. Is there some guidance that leads us to Christian maturity? We will be looking at Paul’s words to the church at Ephesus to guide us on this journey this month. I hope you will join me each Sunday as we learn together.
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.