Christmas at the Movies: Home Alone and Hilarity

home-alone-boyGUEST POST: Pastoral Intern Carter Whyte

This week we began our “Christmas at the Movies” series – using classic Christmas movies to help shed new light on Jesus’ coming to earth. The enjoyable viewing of Home Alone served two purposes for this first message in the series: it taught us about our forgetfulness, and it forced us to put the message into action by having fun.

Just like Kevin’s parents forgot him at home when they went away for Christmas, oftentimes Christians forget something very important when we enter this holiday season: Joy!

We read in Luke 2 that when an angel announced Jesus’ birth to nearby shepherds, the angel proclaimed, “I bring you good news that will be great joy to all people.”

How often do we celebrate because of Jesus? 

Sometimes Christians become fun-suckers, boring, and somber. We may try to rationalize these attitudes by saying that being serious and focused are important because we have a mission to complete and our days are numbered. But think: If the good news is supposed to bring joy into our lives, can we possibly spread the message of this good news without bringing joy along?

We know that joy is good! Laughter refreshes us! Doing fun things relieves us of the worries we have been carrying around! None of us want to go to work every day when there is absolutely nothing pleasurable about it.

There is a time for sorrow, and mourning, and self-reflection. But there is also a time for joy, and shouting, and self-expression! And Christmas is that kind of time!

Christian maturity should lead to more joy, as a result of a deeper connection with the Spirit that produces joy, and the Jesus that brings joy to the world! So let’s be mature this Christmas and let our lives be filled with joy because of Jesus.

  • With still a few weeks until Christmas, why not consider adding in some extra celebrations with your family and the people around you?
  • Invite people from work over to have a fondue dinner!
  • Do something new and exciting with your spouse!
  • Add something new to a traditional Christmas dinner – invite your family into a sing-along, or invite somebody new along! (Or write a poem!)
  • Join in with your kids when they are silly, or build a gingerbread house with them this Sunday for the competition in Plattsville!

Don’t forget to have joy and spread joy to others this Christmas!

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Don’t forget to bring joy with you this Christmas. 

Teaching Points:

  • Sometimes it’s easy to forget the most important things
  • “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people”
  • God is about Joy, and the instigator of Joy
  • You don’t win points by being more conservative than God
  • Don’t forget to have fun this Christmas.

Adult Discussion Questions:

What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? What was new? What was funny? When have you forgotten something important? What brings you joy at Christmas? How can you spread joy? How can you have fun? What can you do today to bring joy to your family?

Discussion Questions / Responses for Young Families

Ask your kids what is most fun thing to do at Christmas. Then go do it.

Challenge for the Week: To go have fun!

Bringing a Smile with You

Have you ever met someone who just makes you smile every time you see them? Have you ever connected with a person who just makes you feel better after every conversation?

Some people have an amazing gift of making you smile. My wife took this picture of my son and I think it’s amazing.

Here he is literally carting a smile around on his tri-cycle. And when I think about Hudson, this is what he is like for me. He is constantly making me laugh. At any moment he can make me smile, by a phrase, or an action. He’s in the stage now where he asks “that funny?” at so many things.

And if you say, “Yes that was funny” he puts his head back like this picture and just laughs and laughs. It makes me laugh every moment, mostly because he always laugh’s now with a delay. A funny action will happen, he will ask about it, and then laugh.

The point is though that Hudson is so connected to life that he brings me life. He is so connected to happiness, that he brings smiles where ever he goes. And whether you realize this or not, this is a lot like Jesus.

Jesus says that he is the way, the truth, and the life. What that means is that he is life. When we get connected to him, we are literally connecting to life. So as Christians we too should be helping people around us connect with life. After our conversations with others, life, smiles, and grace should linger. We should be the type of people who help people to better connect to life and love because of our connection to God.

This doesn’t mean that sometimes we don’t have deep, honest, and sometimes even difficult conversations. It also doesn’t mean we paint a fake happy face on what we are going through. But, if we, as Christians, aren’t carrying around some deeper joy, some deep smiles, and deep sense of life, then we’re missing out. Because our Savior is the life, the joy, and the grace of the world. The closer we get connected to the life, the more it will spread out from us.

The question is, what lingers in your relationships because of you?

Hudson does have bad days. He has difficult moments. But he is so connected to Jesus, that more often than not he is carting around a smile in his little tri-cycle. More often than not he will ask “that funny?” and we’ll all laugh. More often than not he’s willing to throw back his head and spread joy. This is like Jesus and I think it should be like us too.

So this week if you’re having trouble smiling, Hudson is willing to let you borrow his tri-cycle. Because no one can ride that funny, small thing, without smiling…trust me I’ve tried… 😉