I’m a Hallmark Christmas movie junkie. There. I said it. It’s a crazy thing since those movies are all so predictable. The soft-hearted guy breaks up with the diva, meets the love of his life, goes through some ridiculous predicament, trusts Santa to lend a hand and finally ends up with Miss Perfect. It’s the Christmas theme of hope that keeps drawing saps like me back for more.
I’ve noticed that same theme in the season’s music. The world loves to close its eyes and dream of a white Christmas, mistletoe and presents under the tree. It longs to shut out the hustle and bustle to hear the jingle of sleigh bells, reindeer bells and silver bells. It promises good behavior so Santa Claus will come to town bearing gifts wished for most.
Christians know some things the world hasn’t figured out. They’ve sat in the lap of God and shared their most intimate requests realizing that crying and pouting do not throw away their chances for grace and peace. They have held the hand of the One who really can make things better. They know it’s not their own goodness that is measured, but the goodness of the One who sent His Son to town. They know that in order to enjoy their prize they must unwrap it, love it, be thankful for it and hold on to it for dear life.
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” (John 3:16-17, The Message)
Our CNN world longs to be a Hallmark one for at least a season. Jesus came to give us that Hallmark life – not a life absent of trouble, but one filled with His presence. There is, however, a grinch who would like nothing more than to fill us with doubt rather than the Spirit of Jesus. This satanic grinch sprinkles his seeds of doubt on non-believers, but pours them by bucketfuls on Christians. He wants to handcuff us to doubt hindering our reach toward hope. Let’s not let him.
This Christmas let’s not just read about the great gift giver; let’s get to know Him as we accept His love, grace, mercy and peace. Let’s find others who need those things and present them with the gift of Jesus. Reveling in that hope proves to the world God cared enough to send the very best.