traditions: holiday movies

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’… Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas

I’m a huge fan of Christmas movies. Other than your typical, run of the mill chick flicks or rom-coms, Christmas movies are by far probably my favorite to watch.

My current favorites list includes classics like:

1. Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer
2. Frosty the Snowman
3. A Charlie Brown Christmas
4. Home Alone I & II
5. A Christmas Carol
6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

…just to name a few.

I’m also a sucker for sappy, holiday Hallmark movies and those that originally aired on Fa-La-La-La-Lifetime years ago. In spite of the similar story lines (i.e. girl is with wrong guy, guy dumps girl – who is now single for the holidays (*eyes rolling here), girl meets new guy or great guy who has been there all along, he saves the day, they fall in love, end) and some of the cheesiness (I freely admit), I still enjoy them. There is some element about a good Christmas story that warms the cockles of my heart.

But, these stories are just that….

Stories

They can’t top or beat the awe-inspiring, show-stopping story of Jesus and how he came to be on earth. Even The Nativity, which came out a couple of years ago, can’t top that. Hollywood will never be able to capture or top the incomprehensible. Only God can.

Two thousand years ago, God became man; a baby. He allowed himself to be confined to our finiteness; in human flesh. He walked more than a mile in our shoes – he lived 33 years in them! He felt emotions the way we do. He experienced life the way we do. He felt grief and happiness. He died a horrible death on a cross even though he had done nothing wrong. He lived. He breathed his last. He arose.

…and set us captives free!

If you’ve never read the Bible front to back, I highly encourage you to do so. I try to read it through each year and will be doing so again in 2014. It’s a story that compares to no other and I encourage you to read it with a fresh, new mindset. Try imagining as if you’re reading it for the first time. You never know what God will show you.

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