It's that time of year again! Yep that's right, get the popcorn out, make the hot chocolate, and start the fire as you put on a classic Christmas movie. There's not much better than watching the movies we have seen over and over again which still evoke memories and emotions connecting us to the Christmas season. Christmas movies help us remember our loved ones both past and present in our lives and focus us on the true meaning of the holiday. The movies also give us spiritual messages to incorporate in our lives.
So let's look closer at the 6 best Christmas movies and the spiritual messages we can receive from them this holiday season.
#6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Dr. Seuss)
Of course we start here! What better story than how the Grinch found love for himself and others. This realization helps us all know that ultimately its not about us this Christmas season. Selfishness and greed are very real parts of the world. We must evaluate our thoughts and motives to make sure they are what's best for the community, not just ourselves.
There is a purpose behind the holiday that brings us together as a community to sing, laugh, and give thanks. The Who's accepted the Grinch with loving arms without reservation. And so are we called to this season to be inclusive with those around us inviting them to experience the living Christ in their lives. The Grinch was able to change because this radical love that persisted over his desire for material things.
Message: Focusing on others, not yourself brings joy
#5. Miracle on 34th St.
This classic always makes the top list because of its positive, uplifting message. It makes us check our greedy thoughts at the door and reminds us there is something greater than ourselves. Faith is inextricably linked to belief. This film helps us recognize that believing can make all the difference in our lives. Believing opens our heart to possibilities and the mystery of the divine. So believe and know there is something more than meets the eye. The birth of Jesus gives us all something to believe in this season.
Message: Faith makes miracles possible
This newer Christmas classic keeps you smiling throughout the film. It evokes happiness and joy as we laugh at the goofy idea and antics of Will Ferrell's character. In todays fast paced world this movie strikes home telling us to be aware of how we are investing our time. Our focus on obligations and responsibilities pulls us away from the real things that matter in this world. Elf tells us its ok to say no as we turn our time and focus to what really matters. Figuring that out is the challenge left for you.
Message: Find what matters in life to you and hold it close
#3. The Christmas Story
"I just won a major award!" The Christmas Story is either a movie you love or hate. Either way the movie takes you through the life of a boy named Ralphie who faces many dilemmas, challenges, and situations throughout the flick. The hilarious experiences Ralphie goes through gives him an array of emotions to which he has to manage. I believe this film speaks to how there is so much to learn in life through experience. Experiences shape who we are and who we are to be. We learn and become wiser as we live through the decisions we make in life. Through all of this God is always with us. We are never separated from the divine presence.
Message: Life is to be experienced, go out and enjoy it
#2. Christmas Vacation
Clark Griswold's perfect Christmas is shredded to pieces with the unusual and unfortunate events that transpire. However in the end he recognized the gift of truly being with family or those you care about despite all else. The Christmas season is meant to be shared with others. Whether its sledding, decorating lights, or drinking eggnog this movie reminds us how important it is to spend the holidays with people. So go be with someone you care about or invite them to do something.
Message: Share the holiday season by being with others
#1. It's a Wonderful Life
The angel Clarence says to George Bailey, "Each man's life touches so many other lives, and when he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" This classic takes us on a roller coaster as we learn how a life can impact another's. George Bailey needed this experience to help him see the meaning behind his life. I hope all of us can find that meaning and purpose in our lives. Believing we have a purpose creates hope even if we don't know what it is. It helps us search spiritually to continually find where God is placing me and what God is asking me to do. We create meaning by loving others and doing what is needed in the moment. I hope this Christmas season you find meaning through your love of others.
Message: By loving others we impact their life in unforeseen ways
Merry Christmas! I pray that you all find the divine in your life this Christmas season!
This week watch your favorite Christmas Movie!
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
The mission of the Seventy
“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.” Luke 10:1-3 NRSV
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting.
They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation.
They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.
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