Confession: I am a glutton for the holiday movie.
I love the classics like White Christmas, Meet Me in St. Louis, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Miracle on 34th Street, and I can’t see them too many times. Then there are the movies of my childhood like The Night They Saved Christmas and Santa Claus: the Movie that occassionally air on TV transporting me back to the time when sleeping under the Christmas tree was magical and mystery and wonder made waking up at 5am totally worth it. I even love the not so great made-for-TV movies that networks seem to churn out by the dozens…as if they were just another batch of Christmas cookies.
As I let these movie marathons play out in the background of my cleaning, decorating, gift-wrapping, and baking, I began to wonder, “What is it about these movies I find so hypnotizing?” And after some reflection, I believe I have arrived at an answer. I am drawn in to every story. Every hard heart that is softened, every family that is reunited, and every unbelieving adult that stands in awe tell a story of hope, redemption, and faith. And, for me, all of these stories are glimpses of the Greatest Story, one of hope and redemption and Love.
I haven’t only been watching TV. I have also been reading a book I bought recently for myself and family, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name, by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Maybe you have heard the stories in this book a million times. Maybe you are completely unfamiliar with the great Story of the Bible. Maybe you are 5 years old. Maybe you are 95 years old. No matter! This simple retelling of the rescue and redemption of humanity by God in flesh will touch your heart and change your perspective of this day set apart to celebrate!
Here is one of my favorite parts:
“No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne – everything – to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
You see, the best thing about this Story is – it’s true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name…”
So, whether you identify with Ebeneezer Scrooge or Clark Griswald, I pray you will let the many stories of Christmas remind you of the very real, very true Big Story. And…
“God Bless Us, Everyone.”