It’s the same every year. The boxes are brought down from the attic/roof space, the tree is put together, the branches unfolded and my annual task of untangling the lights begins.
There is one box every year that I can’t wait to get into. The Christmas DVD box. As traditional as the tree itself we have a box full of Christmas DVDs that are just for this special time of year.
Every year the same rotation, It’s A Wonderful Life, Gremlins, Miracle on 34th Street even Christmas with the Kranks (don’t judge me) are all there to enjoy.
With 4 Sundays left until Christmas we are now in Advent, the pre-Christmas period. A time for reflection, a time for preparation for the event ahead. So, to celebrate this for the next few Sundays I'm planning to post some reflective thoughts on a few of my Christmas film favourites that I hope will help you prepare, reflect and watch some great movies!
First up is the family favourite Home Alone!
For starters, be honest for a moment who reading this hasn’t wished their family would disappear at some point (particularly over the Christmas period)? We've all reached points where family has become too much and some peace and quiet is all we want. Kevin gets that, he gets that solitude but before Harry and Marv begin working their way through Kevin’s fun house he realises that this may not be what he wants at all.
Scared, lonely and seeking refuge Kevin goes to a place of familiarity, a place of comfort. Kevin goes to church! Kevin is missing his family, is afraid and needs some sanctuary. The choral voices from within draw him in and he finds rest from his troubles on taking his seat in the pews.
Unexpectedly, he encounters his neighbour Old Man Marley and is shocked to discover the human side of a man he has previously been terrified of. The realisation comes that Marley is also in church for refuge. He is in fact very similar to Kevin as he also misses his family. Estranged from his son, Marley has to watch the choir practice as this is the only way he can see his grand daughter and feel close to his family. The refuge he seeks is from his past circumstances whereas Kevin seeks refuge from the present.
That’s why Kevin goes to church. That’s why Marley is there. They know deep down even with their problems that church is a place of refuge and a place of welcome to the weary. Marley evens names this following a misunderstanding with Kevin when he corrects him by saying ‘everyone is welcome at church’.
Everyone is welcome.
Not those with correct theology or doctrinal ducks in an unshakeable row.
The weary are welcome.
The lonely are welcome.
The estranged are welcome.
Those seeking refuge from their troubles are welcome.
Those on the fringes and those right in the centre of church life are welcome.
Everyone is welcome.
I hope that over this Christmas period you find church (wherever that may be) to be the same.