Better Than the Best Christmas Movie
Wednesday - December 22nd
Scripture to Read Today: Galatians 5:13-26
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The first-ever Christmas movie came out in 1898. Entitled "Santa Claus," it depicted Santa leaving gifts on Christmas Eve. The short silent film starts will two children being placed in bed by a nanny. She turns off the lights, and the children fall asleep. Santa Claus enters the room from the fireplace and apparently trims the tree with decorations. He then fills the stockings hanging on the foot of the bed.
After walking backward and surveying his work, he suddenly disappears up the chimney. The children wake up to see that Santa had visited their bedroom. This film surprises everyone by using never-before-seen special effects for Saint Nicholas' rapid disappearance up the chimney and out of the room. Check out the brief, just-over-a-minute film below.
Settling down in front of feel-good festive movies has become a modern Christmas tradition - and has driven the production of seasonal films to record-breaking levels this year. More than 200 new feature films and TV movies with the word "Christmas" in the title have been listed on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) for release in 2021. That number has doubled since 2016 and is four times more than 2011. Channels and streamers have discovered festive films are big ratings winners.
When surveyed as to why annual made-for-tv Christmas movies on such channels as the Hallmark Channel get so much of their time and attention, viewers site the movies' positive content. They suggest that they embrace qualities of love, hope, peace, joy, kindness, and generosity displayed by main characters who face overwhelming circumstances. Viewers want those qualities in their own lives and in our world today.
Not surprisingly, the baby born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago embodied many of the qualities fans of Christmas movies hunger to see. Jesus lived out the traits displayed by characters in our modern Christmas movies. He reflected the essential attributes of kindness and generosity exhibited by Saint Nicholas in that first Christmas movie from 1898.
As the followers of Christ, the Apostle Paul tells us that our lives are transformed from the inside out to demonstrate these same Christlike qualities through our lives. He made it clear that as the Spirit of God molds and shapes our lives, people see the Spirit's work in us. In Galatians 5:13-26, Paul contrasts what the Holy Spirit produces in and through us and what our flesh produces. As we walk with God and pursue being like Christ, the fruit of the Spirit emerge in our lives before others and embody the best qualities seen in the greatest of Christmas movies.
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). Do others see the evidence of the Spirit's work in you?
When we walk with Christ, and others see the fruit of the Spirit in us, that is better than any movie!