by Johannah Miesner
When I first read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, I was intrigued by the dedication of four girls to each other – and a pair of pants. I have to admit that I am by nature a person who always prefers the book to the movie. Therefore, I was quite dubious of the idea of these well-crafted books being made into two hours of excitement worthy of the big screen. I was pleasantly surprised by the first movie, as long as I thought of it separately from the book. However, when I heard that there was to be a second one and I heard the storyline, I was confused how the girls got to the point in their lives where the movie started. In the end, I discovered that those in charge of the movie decided to put three books into one movie, perhaps fearful that there would not be the same excitement in a third or fourth movie about a pair, of what can only be described as most likely extremely smelly after their four years of cross-continental traveling, pants.
As you may have deduced from the first paragraph, this movie is the story of four girls, all friends from childhood, who discover a pair of magical pants, a pair that can fit all of them, despite their different body types. They decide, as they head off into a summer filled with travels, that they will mail the pants in a rotation so that all the girls can use the pants to help them make friends, become successful, find love, and have an enjoyable summer as they all head off in different directions.
In this movie, the girls have been separated by more than a summer, as they are all finishing their first years at college. The connection between the girls seems to be unraveling, though the denim fibers of the pants are just as intact as they were four years ago. After dealing with new and old loves, finding unknown talents, and a theft of a younger sister, the sisterhood must face their biggest problem – the traveling pants have traveled right out of the movie. In the end, the girls renew their friendship as they head to Greece to find the pants. They thank the pants for bringing them to a place, yet again, back together.
In this movie, the girls end up where they started, just four girls who have known each other all their lives. They have survived what life has given them and have grown stronger through their tribulations, because of the pants.
I will go to what might seem to be a bit of a stretch and ask, is the Lord not like those pants? The pants are a reminder of our loving Lord. First, He “fits” us all – or, rather, He makes us “fit” Him in the righteousness He gives through Christ.
He also reminds us of the wonderful gifts we have been given. In truth, we know that the pants could not give anything. But our gracious Savior never stops giving Himself in His Gospel and Sacraments!
Our “Better-than-Pants” Savior promises a long future with Him (though He will not get lost in Greece, making our future with Him much longer than the girls with the pants!) Even when it seems we are on our own, and it seems that God is far from us, He is there all along. He remains with us, assuring us through His Gifts of an eternal future in Christ!
And get this! Jesus never needs to be laundered! Actually, He launders us! He brings us to His Holy Font and washes us. Once baptized, we don’t need to be washed again (only absolved, and that’s another topic.) In that miracle, He clothes us with Himself, covering us with His righteousness.
Finally, God will unite us, together with Him in heaven, just as the girls were united again in Greece. Our Savior will bring us amazing joy as He gathers us all in His presence, blessing us beyond understanding.
Though we may not have a magical pair of pants, we do have a wonderful and amazing God who blesses us! Far better than this sisterhood, we have been given sonship by our Savior, laundered, reminded, and given His Good Gifts!
Johannah Miesner teaches the 7th and 8th grades at Saint John’s Lutheran School in Lanesville, Indiana. A native of Perry County, Missouri, Johannah is a graduate of Concordia University – Nebraska. She previously has written The Big Screen vs. Small Screens: Cinemas and Cell Phones for Higher Things.
Created: October 15th, 2008