By: Joe Cameneti, Jr. | Image credit: Facebook.com/HomeAlone
I go WILD for Christmas. As a pastor, we often start planning for our holiday productions as early as September. Which means we’re usually listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies WAY EARLY. And the funny thing is that it never gets old!
An absolute must on our watchlist is the holiday classic, Home Alone. This has always been my favorite Christmas movie. It took place in my mom’s hometown of Chicago, and we spent many childhood Christmas mornings with my grandparents in Chicago-Land. So much nostalgia, so many great characters – SUCH A GREAT MOVIE!
So, let’s take a look at what Harry, Marv, Buzz and Kevin can teach us about Christmas:
- Disfunction doesn’t disqualify you from being used by God.
The McCallister’s are hardly relatable. From their gorgeous mansion of a house to their extravagant vacations, most of us aren’t spending the holidays in Paris. But one thing I think we can absolutely relate to is their disfunction. Because, maybe in some small (or even big way) they remind us of our own crazy families. We all know the big brother “Buzz” who is kind of a lovable bully. Maybe he goes by a different name, but maybe they were in the next room over. And who doesn’t have an Uncle Frank?? I’m sure every one of us at one time or another has looked around the Christmas dinner table and thought, “Can I trade in a few of them for someone else?” Never me, of course! (LOL)
Have you ever thought about this? Really, God chose a “crazy family” to bring the Christmas Story to life. When we think of the nativity, we tend to imagine the sweet little baby lying in a manger on a silent night. Which is fair. But, think about it. That moment in a manger could have never happened if it weren’t for a whole lotta MESS.
The truth is, God didn’t have to, but He chose to work through disfunction! If you are new to reading the Bible, it would probably shock you to read through the lineage of Jesus. There’s a WHOLE lot of disfunction in His family tree. Jesus’ great great great grandpa was King David. He took down some giants, but there was one giant he never conquered, and that led to an adulterous affair and a murderous scandal and cover-up.
As a matter of fact, God begins the Christmas story in the gospel of Matthew by listing the bloodline of Jesus, and it’s not a sanitized list. In fact, David’s mistress (Bathsheba) is one of 5 women included in the list. Another person on the list is Jesus’ Great-Great-Grandma Rahab. I won’t tell you what she did for a living, but let’s just say, she had one of the “world’s oldest professions.”
Here’s the point. God used imperfect sinners, to lead to a perfect savior – who, by the way, ultimately rescued imperfect sinners!
- Kevin isn’t the only one up against a thief.
Home alone wouldn’t be the movie it is without the hilarious and dim-witted thieves, Harry and Marv. They remind me a whole lot of our enemy, Satan. He really is a thief! Jesus describes him this way in the gospel of John: John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (NIV)
It’s important to know this as a follower of Jesus. Satan only has one mission. He wants to make your life miserable. He knows God’s plan for you, to give you life to the fullest, and he wants to rob you of every good thing that God has planned. He wants to rob you of peace, steal your joy, your hope, and ultimately your purpose.
I like this quote from Francis Bacon (And, yes, I also like Francis Bacon’s name). He famously says, “Opportunity makes a thief.” It’s the truth with our enemy as well. The Bible says, “He comes seeking who he MAY devour.” The reality is that thieves will only take what we allow them to, what we fail to protect. Every robber (Just like The Wet Bandits) is looking for an open door, a weak link in our defenses. Our enemy is no different. Ephesians 6:10 tells us to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Just like Kevin, when we are aware of the thief’s plan, and prepared for his attack, we will stand against him in the moment’s that matter the most!
- God and sinners reconciled.
There are so many themes woven through Home Alone, but one of my favorites is the theme of reconciliation. In Kevin’s conversation with Mr. Marley in the cathedral, he encourages his elder to make things right with his estranged son. Fueled by his deep sense of loss with his own family.
This is what Christmas is all about! It’s the message of the gospel. Reconciliation through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. “God and sinners reconciled!”
2 Corinthians 5:18 tells us, “…all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him]…” (AMP)
As you’re playing this hilarious classic for the 500th time this week, I hope you never see it (or the story of Christmas) quite the same again. Merry Christmas!