Christmas begins to give meaning to the long struggle of God’s people and the ultimate good and surprising plans of God for the world.
I love movies where, when you get to the end, something happens that changes the meaning of the movie, it calls into question everything you saw up to that point and gives you a new vantage point. Many of these movies offer flashbacks where you see what you missed or see what you saw through new lenses.
Maybe the most famous movie of this kind is The Sixth Sense. Most of the early M. Night Shyamalan movies were like that.
Another is Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close with Sandra Bullock. I don’t think a lot of people saw this movie. Her son in the movie is having a really hard time with the loss of his dad on 9/11. His dad was in the Twin Towers and leaves a message on the phone machine when he knows he’ll die. The son is going through this hard time and his mom, Sandra Bullock, seems distant and neglectful. Then you get to the end of the movie and you find out she was letting him go on this important journey, but she is actually involved, actually orchestrating every step of her son’s journy. It’s an incredible ending.
The first Christmas and what ensued through Jesus has that kind of effect the rest of the story. Once Jesus arrives on the scene, it gives new meaning to the rest of the story and the journey of God’s people, as well as God’s orchestration of events all along the way.
It gives us great hope, too, because the same God is at work today in the lives of his people and for his people.
That’s what this weekend’s sermon is about. Hope to see you there.