The Gospel According to Mary Poppins: Week 2

Anything Can Happen…with God. 

  

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭19‬:‭25-26‬ NIV)

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Last week, we examined the role of Mary Poppins, as she descends like a Jesus-figure into the lives of the Banks family, meeting their needs right where they are. We saw that Bert and the Chimney Sweeps are angelic figures, stepping in time and in rhythm with each other for their mission to help and encourage others. The song, “Step in Time,” was able to remind us that God steps in time to help us and that we are able to step in time and in rhythm with the Spirit in order to live and learn and grow.

Today we highlight another important song, “Anything Can Happen.” There comes a point in the story when the Banks family is worried about their father, George. His job consumes his time and his thoughts. Honestly, they just want their father back, for him to raise them, love them, and be present with them. Mary Poppins sings a song to the children and their mother, relaying hope that anything can happen if you let it.  

If the family will put each other first and use the great resources that are around them, the impossibility of their family coming together can become a living reality. Mary Poppins knows this reality, but the Banks family will have to let it happen through sacrificing themselves and putting the needs of the others first. Mary Poppins is teaching the family this, especially by example. Her world is filled with people who are supportive and resourceful.

Coming together, using the resources at our disposal and putting each other first reminds me of two very helpful scriptures. 

The first is Hebrews 12.1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”

We’re told here to throw off and let go of anything that hinders or blocks our faith-path. We’re told to hand over the sin that weighs us down and entangles us. The saints before us and the saints around us are those that have and are doing this. They are the great pioneers of faith, the great models of walking-daily-with-the-Lord. We must learn from them and use them, for encouragement and for strength.

And secondly Philippians 2.3-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Here we learn that we can have the integrity and humility of Christ if we will put others first and truly serve. We’re not entangled by our own fallen and destructive desires when we’re busy meeting others needs. Christ came to serve and to give, and we too are to have that same attitude and activity in our own lives.

George Banks experiences a life-saving, life-giving self-sacrifice, when he puts his family first (above his job) and joins together with them as a focused, involved, and loving father. The impossible for the Banks family became a miracle.

And it’s that miracle that our scripture passage is about today. As Jesus’ listeners hear about what God expects of His people, they believe that it is impossible for anyone to be saved. But through the saints around us (their example and their faith) and through putting one another first (meeting their needs and considering their interests), we see that God’s expectations are met and lived out through the power and grace that comes in living well. Anything truly can happen…with God…if we let it.

But we have to let it, we have to get out of the way and let God rule in our hearts. If we continue to chase after what pleases us, what makes us happy, we’ll miss out on what it is that God wants to do in the lives of both others and ourselves. Kimberly and I love this line in the “Anything Can Happen” song. It says,

If you reach for the stars, all you get are the stars,

But we’ve found a whole new spin.

If you reach for the heavens, you get the stars thrown in.

You see, for the Christian, it isn’t about simply being a good person. It’s about having a deep, abiding relationship with God. Letting God into our hearts and letting Him love through us is the single greatest thing we could ever do. There is no limit to the miracles that we can witness in the lives of everyone around us if we would reach for God and let God use us to love the world.

So, don’t be stubborn. For stubbornness leads to frustration and a hardened heart. Be willing. Be open. Be available to the grace of God and let God happen. Amen? Let’s pray…

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