Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!! ¬†ūüôā

I hope you spent this Christmas season with your family and friends celebrating the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.

My grandmother is still recovering from her insomnia, depression, and back pain, so we did not spend Christmas day at my grandparent’s home as we usually do. ¬†Grandpa, however, did come and visit us on the twenty fourth to be encouraged and to share his gifts with us. ¬†I was surprised he had gotten us anything, since he has been caring for Grandma for the past (almost) two months. ¬†Thankfully, Grandma is sleeping again and has no more pain. ¬†She simply needs to be able to think clearly again and get out of the depression. ¬†We are hoping that will happen in the next month.

Last night was also our church’s candlelight service. ¬†It was wonderful to celebrate Christmas with our church family, and singing ‘Silent Night’ while holding a candle is always fun ¬†(though it was a bit more interesting this year as I helped my three year old sister hold one too). ¬†ūüôā

Then this morning, my family and I went to sing Christmas carols at a nearby nursing home with some church families. ¬†Seeing some of the residents sing with us was sweet. ūüôā

Afterword, in the afternoon, the four oldest girls went to see Les Miserables with our neighbors.  It is an amazing movie!!  If you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend it.  Redemption, Mercy, Justice, Love, and Freedom are a couple of the main themes.  I was very happy to see that the director of the film kept all the great themes the book brought out.

Les Miserables poster

Since this is Christmas time I thought I would share a few of the similarities between Les Miserables and Christianity/The Bible.

#1 I’m sorry, I have not yet memorized the names of the characters…. so bear with me. ¬†The main character, who was put in prison because he stole bread, gets out on parole. ¬†He then finds himself at a convent of sorts and is invited in for a warm meal and bed for the night by a kind priest. ¬†During the night, he steals as many silver objects as he can find and runs off. ¬†He is basically throwing insults at the people who are trying to help him out of his predicament.

In the case of Christianity, we view Jesus as the priest. ¬†We are slaves to sin, unable to free ourselves. ¬†We even mock God and blame Him for our woes. ¬†When Jesus came on earth two thousand years ago, people killed Him. ¬†But even though we continued to hate Him, He gave us another chance at redemption‚ÄĒeven after we have insulted him.

When the main character in the movie is captured by the local law enforcement agents, he lies and says, (to paraphrase) ‘The priest gave them to me.’ ¬†Of course, the men don’t believe him for a second and they cart him back to the priest. ¬†But here is where the story takes a surprising twist. ¬†Instead of taking back his silver, and having the thief put in prison, he says, (again, paraphrased) “You should have stayed longer, I wanted to give you these” (while handing him two large silver candlesticks). ¬†He then remarks that the man should make a new and honest life from the precious silver that is now his.

When Christ gives us the gift of eternal life He doesn’t just give it to us so that we can continue in our old way of living. ¬†He wants us to begin to follow Him and (with the Holy Spirit’s help) begin to produce the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). ¬†Although… we can’t steal the gift of Life from Him, like the man did in the movie. ūüôā

#2 Much later in the film, the main character has the opportunity to kill the main law enforcement officer who has been after him ever since he broke his parole and became a mayor. ¬†But, instead, he helps the man escape and shows him mercy‚ÄĒsomething the other man has never shown.

We deserve to die. ¬†If we were only held accountable before God with the things we judge others by we would be condemned ten times over. ¬†Jesus, however, offers us mercy and forgiveness. ¬†I appreciate how the movie shows the difference between total justice with no mercy and justice with a merciful and forgiving spirit. ¬†God is both loving and just. ¬†It is a tough concept to grasp because we always want justice to be given! ¬†If we are truly honest with ourselves, though, we should not want this all the time. ¬†We justly deserve hell‚ÄĒseparation from God forever because of our sin. ¬†He loves us even in our ugliness and filth of sin, but He is just as well. He cannot simply say, ‘Your sins are gone… ¬†I will ignore them.’ ¬†A just God can not do that. ¬†But, a merciful, forgiving, and loving God can come up with a solution to the problem.

That is where Jesus comes in. ¬†Because He is God’s son, He was perfect, without sin. ¬†Because He became a man (while still being fully God), He could die for us and be our lamb offering (in the Old Testament Jewish sense). ¬†His blood paid for our sins so that we could now come near to God and He near to us.

I could go on… the movie had so many excellent redemptive portions!! ¬†I hope you will go see it. ūüôā ¬†The music is superb as well… and with all the emotions flying around??! ¬†It’s an emotional film, and it will pull at your heartstrings more than once.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!