Friday, December 24, 2010

Redemption

Well, it's Christmas Eve (and, yes, I'm maintaining my tradition of re-posting my Christmas posts from earlier years) and I've been taking time this year to reflect even more deeply on just what Christmas is all about. Have you?
Yes, Christmas is about traditions and family and being together to celebrate the things which we hold dear. And it is especially about our celebration of faith in Christ. But lest we forget just why Jesus was born into this fallen world; it was for our Redemption.
As I said, I've been reflecting on Christmas lately and I've noticed something this year that I missed before. The redemption story is what really strikes a chord in all of us at this time of year. As I've sat and watched numerous Christmas specials and movies, I've seen it much more clearly this year than ever before.
Every Christmas show or movie that we know and love is all about the redemption of one of the main characters. Of course, A Christmas Carol is probably the most significant one. Consider how many times it's been done and re-done with a new twist, or adapted to reflect popular culture. The tale is always the same. The self-involved "scrooge" sees just how wretched they are and their life is turned around by the spirit(s) of Christmas. And I believe people respond to this because we all want to have that kind of hope. We all want that redemption, even if we're not sure if, or why, we need it.
And I've been seeing the redemption story in every Christmas special I've watched so far. Think about it...
Rudolph: Rudoplph is redeemed when he realizes he can't run from his problems forever. When he finds the courage to face his "uniqueness" he becomes a hero. As a result, everybody else is redeemed when they see how wrong they were about him.
And let's not forget about all of the misfit toys who end up with children who love them because of Rudolph!
Santa Claus is Coming To Town: The Winter Warlock, whose icey heart is melted by the kindness of Kris Kringle.
Year Without a Santa Claus: Santa himself is redeemed when every child in the world agrees that he deserves a day off.
Little Drummer Boy: He's an angry kid who hates the world for the way it's treated him. But when Aaron meets Jesus, he is changed forever.
The Grinch: Need I say anything about this one?
I could go on, but I hope you get the point by now.
I guess what I'm saying is this; when we consider the reason why Jesus was born, it becomes clear that even in celebrating His birth, we recognize just what it is about Him that draws us to love this time of year. Because it's at this time of year that our redemption truly draws near to us.
Have a Merry Christmas!

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