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I love stories, so movies are a natural language for me as they embody the story. No surprise that December in our home is almost non-stop Christmas movies. I watch them all – from the obscure (but some of my favorites) to the Hallmark made-for-the-moment flick. Have you seen We’re No Angels with Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and….can’t remember who plays the third angel? How about It Happened on Fifth Avenue, another oldie?
So many movies, so many days! Today the central question of the made-for-cable movie is “Do you believe in Christmas?” They danced around the central truth with phrases like, “a rebirth for each of us” and “tradition and hope.” (like sometimes people say to me, after learning that I’m a pastor, “oh yeah. I believe in religion.” And I want to say ‘really? I don’t. I believe in Jesus, but I have some issues with religion’).
I do believe in Christmas. All the decorations, all the traditions, all the music, and even the cold make it precious to me. Love that stuff!
But not more than the central message: God so loved the world that he gave his only son for its redemption, for its restoration to his hope for it. The central celebration of the good news: that Jesus Christ came that you might have full life now, freed from social pressures for worldly acceptance and success; and that you will have life beyond life – eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
Make tonight a movie night. Watch movies of your Christmases as children. Make movies of your children baking cookies, wrapping gifts, talking about what they dream of – or capture your parents telling stories about their childhood and Christmases, or telling about family traditions, heirlooms, and histories. These are the all-time favorite movies for every family.