End Credits

End Credits

In my last post, I wrote about how the wonderful Pixar movie Inside Out led me to consider “the importance of sadness.” On a more whimsical but still serious note, I write in this post about the importance of “end credits.”

Continuing a tradition that began with Pixar’s first feature-length film Toy Story (1995), Inside Out concludes with a list of the 87 “production babies” born as the film was made. Here are the names:

Benjamin, Cecilia Delphine, Charley, Christopher, Christopher, Cleas, Colton, Colton, Eden, Elaina, Elise, Elizabeth, Ella, Ellie, Ellis, Emery, Eva, Evan, Evelyn, Finley, Fisher, Gemma, Georgia, Gray, Great, Hannah, Harper, Hayley, Hazel, Imogen, Isaac, Julian, Kaiya, Karter, Kyle, Laila, Leia, Lilly, Linda, Lucy, Luke, Madeline, Madison, Makena, Marcus, Matilda, Matthew, Maxime, Maya, Meara, Melodie, Merritt, Mia, Mina, Murray, Oliver, Oliver, Oliver, Oliver, Owen, Penelope, Riley, RJ, Robert, Rosalind, Rowan, Ryan, Ryan, Rylin, Sam, Sam, Sanjay, Sashi, Seohu, Shaan, Shom, Siena, Tess, Timothy, Victor, Walker, Willa, William, Willow, Wyatt, Wyatt, Zoey.*

Then comes this note: “This film is dedicated to our kids. Please don’t grow up. Ever.”

I appreciate how the Pixar team helps us see in the end credits what is most important to them. It is their children (and we can infer their families as a whole) that matter. Their creative work is not done in a vacuum. Their children inspire them; the film is informed by them and made for them.

The Apostle Paul has his own noteworthy tradition at the conclusion of his letters, what we might call his “end credits.” Typically, Paul brings personal greetings. He calls to mind the many people who are most important to him. He knows he does not minister alone. He is part of a team, a community of faith, the body of Christ that inspires him and helps him in so many ways. Here are the 35 (!) names at the end of Paul’s letter to the Romans (chapter 16):

Pheobe, Prisca, Aquila, Epaenetus, Mary, Andronicus, Junia, Ampliatus, Urbanus, Stachys, Apelles, Arisobulus, Herodion, Narcissus, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, Persis, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon, Heremes, Patrobas, Hermas, Philologus, Julia, Nereus, Olympas, Timothy, Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, Tertius, Gaius, Erastus, Quartus.

I want to live in such a way that the “end credits” for my life are there for the world to see. I want my family and friends and colleagues always to know how important they are to me, how much they inspire me, how much they help me. Truly, we do not lead our lives in a vacuum. We are part of a team, a community of faith, the body of Christ.

Maybe this is a good time, right now, for each of us to take time to give thanks to and to share our love with the people who populate the “end credits” of our lives.

*Abby Sandel, http://nameberry.com/blog/creative-baby-names-from-pixar-production-babies, accessed October 12, 2015.

David Lenz, Lead Pastor