Let It Go.

FrozenLet It Go.

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

July 6, 2014


Once upon a time in a land far away,

there was a king and a queen who had two daughters.


The young princesses absolutely adored each other.

They sang and they played all through the castle.

(Of course princesses live in castles.)

Their kingdom was in the north,

so one of their favorite things to do was…to make snowmen…


And yes – of course this is the story of Elsa and Anna –

the two young princesses from the most recent Disney film, “Frozen.”


Early in the movie, the older sister, Elsa,

discovers that she has magical powers.

When her emotions overtake her, she has the power to make things freeze.

This gift can be a beautiful one, but it also can be dangerous.

One day as the young girls are playing,

Elsa becomes angry with Anna,

and her powers strike down Anna – freezing her heart.


The family is distraught and the king and queen confine Elsa away from her sister,

encouraging her to hide her gift until she can control it.

“Conceal it. Don’t feel it. Don’t let it show.” becomes her mantra.


Alas, the lesson Elsa learns is that in order to be herself,

she needs to live on her own – and she heads off by herself to a mountain palace.

She does find some release in the solitude she creates for herself.

Alone on the mountaintop, she sings triumphantly, “Let it go!”


In our gospel reading today,

Jesus offers a different way to “let it go.”

“Come to me all you that are weary

and are carrying heavy burdens.

And I will give you rest.”


Jesus begins by asking us to watch children.

(It’s interesting to think about how well Jesus knows children

despite not having any of his own.)


Jesus has seen how children play together in the marketplace,

and my guess is that’s he’s played with them at times.


He says,”It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another,

17 “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

we wailed, and you did not mourn.”


He knows children can be a bit bossy at a certain age –

telling you as an adult that there’s a “right way” to play the game they have in mind.


If they want you to play wedding,

your job is not to be creative about the story line,

but just to ask whether you’re the bride or the groom.


If they want you to play funeral,

your job is to ask them how they want you to pretend to die.


If truth be told, playing with young children can sometimes seem like work,

if you don’t do it the right way – which of course is their way.


Jesus sees that the religious leaders of his day put excessive burdens on people the same way.

They establish elaborate rules for eating.

They restrict activity on the Sabbath to the extreme of ignoring human need.

Their highest value seems to be controlling human behavior.


The reading shares that two people refuse to allow their behavior to be controlled –

John the Baptist and Jesus.


The religious leaders see and hear the prophet John,

who chooses not to drink,

and he makes them uncomfortable.

Because he doesn’t “play” the way they think he should,

they say he has a demon.


On the other hand, there’s Jesus.

Jesus has a good time eating and drinking with people.

But he doesn’t play the way they think he should either, because he plays with the wrong people,

so they say he is a glutton and a drunkard.



“Let it go!” Jesus says.


The attempt to control behavior – either our own or someone else’s – is a heavy burden.

It is hard work.

It is exhausting.

And besides that… unless you are a four year old playing with a willing adult – it never works.


As we’ve heard Patrick speak about God in our Working,

It’s good to remember that God is in our working,

but God is not work (and work is not God!)

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens,” he says,

“and I will give you rest.”


Let it go.

Lay it down.

Give it up.


If the behavior you are trying to control perfectly is your own,

give it up.

Jesus says, lay it down.

Come to me and you will find rest.


If the behavior you are trying to control is someone else’s.

Jesus says, lay it down.

Give up that burden which is not yours to carry.

Come to me and you will find rest.

In the end of the movie “Frozen,” love reaches through to Elsa.

Anna, her sister, does not give up until she finds her and brings her home,

and there’s a big party.


Sound familiar?

A shepherd leaves his 99 sheep to go look for the one who is lost to bring it home.

A woman scours her home looking for a single lost coin and throws a party when she finds it.

A father watches the horizon every day for his prodigal lost son and when he returns,

runs out to greet him, embracing him, and calling for a grand celebration.


Come to me, Jesus says….

But if you don’t…I’m coming to you.


Thanks be to God.




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