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Posts Tagged ‘Fantasia’

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I think one of the masterpieces of cartooning is the movie Fantasia (1940).  One of the great scenes is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  I have a homework assignment for you!  Watch it below and then I have some reflections on it  as a parable of  our age…and you may have some reflections to add!

Reflection:  Poor Mickey hauling all that water!  I wonder why?  Does the sorcerer have a wicked thirst?  Is he washing a lot of clothes?  Does he use it in his spells? Does he like clean floors?  The sorcerer certainly is not baptizing.  Nevertheless, Mickey labors greatly.  He needs a labor-saving device.  So when the sorcerer after a hard day of conjuring up the demonic and the beatific (interesting in itself), he goes off to bed and a notion comes to Mickey’s head: take his master’s magic hat and then  make a broom come to life to do his work!  A technological marvel!  Don’t we imbue our inventions as almost magical!  I’m working on such right now and you are reading on it!  It will do the work!  It saves us time and money!  

Or more pointedly and frightening: technology saves.  This has become an article of our age’s false faith.  Mickey finds out when he wakes up that his spell, his technology has overtaken him and he’s drowning in it.  But note, what does Mickey dream about while he sleeps  the sleep of the self-complacent?  He is the “ruler of wind and wave” (Hymn #965, “God Bless Our Native Land”,  stanza 1, Lutheran Service Book).  He wants more of the same! Of course!  Mickey rules!  Mickey is God Almighty!  Isn’t that a humiliating thought: the Old Adam as Mickey Mouse ruling the universe!  But it’s not far off the mark that Adam and Eve is such a pitiful deity with clay feet, yet destructive.  Mickey dominates, but does not have dominion (See Genesis 1-3).   We think homo faber (tool man or literally, Man the Maker!)  is god-like but if homo faber forgets he is first homo adorans (worshiping man) worshiping only the one true God, there is hell to pay as Mickey realizes when he wakes up and is close to drowning.  Truly,

“And all man’s Babylons strive but to impart
The grandeurs of his Babylonian heart.” (Francis Thompson)

What is Mickey Mouse’s solution to the technological marvel run amuck?  Violence!  Ax murder the broom but this backfires as every wood splinter makes another broom (see Steven Spielberg’s “Gremlins”!)   Now the threat is the drowning all of Mickey Mouse’s  world.  

In the prayer of the day for the first Sunday in Advent, we pray that the Lord rescue us from the “threatening dangers of sin”, like the deluge of Mickey Mouse’s idolatry devouring him, us all and it has.  It’s the end of the world.  The Lord’s Word in His baptismal water does drown us to bring us forth dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (See Romans 6: 1ff and especiallyRomans 6:11) .  We can walk wet in His salvation day by day as He is born of Mary for us all.  Our tools can be just that, tools, our servants, not our masters, for we have only one Master.

We pray…

Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance;  for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

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