Fairytales are the highest form of allegory of the Christian life to emerge within Christendom.* I wonder what the highest form of allegory of the Christian life to emerge within post-Christendom will be?
*Consider Rapunzel, as an allegory of Christ and humanity. A beautiful princess is held captive by a wicked witch, who tricked her parents into handing her over. A prince comes to rescue her; and woos her for her love. But the witch pushes him from the tower window; he falls to the ground, where his eyes are blinded by the thorns. He then re-climbs the tower, and his sight is healed when the princess’ tears fall on his face. The witch is over-thrown, and the prince and princess go off together. And here, fairytales traditionally gloss a premature Ending, with the phrase “And they lived happily ever after.” Of course, what follows is not an empty life of leisure (and perhaps it was such a life modelled by princes and princesses which gave rise to the gloss), but the day-to-day life of ruling over the kingdom in such a way that goodness continues to triumph over evil. Because the princess is set free to be a princess: one who shares in reigning.
Consider Beauty & the Beast, as an allegory of Christ and humanity. A handsome prince is held captive by a curse which mars his nature, until such time as someone freely falls in love with him as he has become. Despite his own efforts to hide from the world, a vulnerable girl meets him and, at great cost to herself – for in choosing him she will lose the life she has always known – comes to love him. Her kiss breaks the spell; his true nature and identity is revealed; he returns to claim his rightful throne, and she shares the rule of the kingdom with him.
Consider Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or – just go consider the fairytale; the highest form of allegory of the Christian life to emerge within Christendom. We were created to rule; and Christ came to set us free to take up the rule which had been taken from us.