Sonya Brown - June 27, 2021

Stranger Things


Stranger Things runs on two things: nostalgia and a fear of the Upside Down. But is turning the world upside down really so scary? Maybe only to those who benefit from the way things are. The Upside Down could be a blessing to those who struggle for justice and hope in our day-to-day reality. How can we live upside-down lives?

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This message was written and delivered by Rev. Sonya Brown

I don’t watch a lot of shows or movies. I honestly don’t know what is good, popular, or trending. I don’t know much until my son tells me what he’s interested in watching. He told me about this show that I might like. It has 80s references, there were some actors that I liked, and since he knows me, he thought that I would enjoy the storyline. We began watching Stranger Things together and I was immediately hooked! I loved the nostalgia of the 80s and it reminded me of growing up in the 80s. This show also opened up new conversations and adventures for my son and I. 

The central message of Stranger Things is about an upside down world. There is a world or another dimension that is present and is part of our timeline waiting to break in. The show discusses a dark world, the upside down, which is the opposite of the present world. The more you journey with the characters in the show, you learn about this dark world. It’s kind of scary. 

There are plenty of things that are scary or we are taught are dark. I remember the issue with Dungeons and Dragon where the Evangelical Church stated it was a gateway to Satanism. I liked how Stranger Things has the main characters play Dungeons and Dragons, but their knowledge of the game helps them in their conquest to destroy or prevent the upside down world taking over their current world. 

We probably all experienced something scary in our life. Maybe there are things or experiences that scare us. Some people are scared of snakes or spiders. We could be scared of public speaking or trying new things. Maybe we’ve been scared because we don’t know what an outcome will be or there was an experience that scared us to our core. Being scared is something we experienced. 

In Stranger Things, you see how being scared and darkness could traumatize someone. You also see characters who overcome their fears in order to find and rescue their friend, as well as prevent evil and darkness from taking over their community. In the show, you also see people who are trying to use darkness for their benefit and will cover up what is going on.

I think in a way, Stranger Things resonates with how we are called to not be scared or fearful. We are also called to prevent evil and darkness from taking over our community and the world. Stranger Things also reveals the darkness that is already formed in this world, by unjust corporate and government practices, as well as illegal medical testing. Even in darkness and evil form of practices, it can be overcome. 

We will explore what it means for God’s upside down kingdom to break through and how we are called to overcome evil and darkness in community.

Join us Sunday as we learn how to live upside-down lives.

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