Not a Hallmark Movie
Sunday - December 5th
Scripture to Read Today: Luke 2:8-21
The shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
Nothing says that Christmas arrives soon like the Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas movie schedule. Hallmark has over two- hundred original Christmas movies to offer. The channel pulls in 85 million viewers each season, along with $390 million in advertising revenue. After three weeks of production, nearly $1.5 million in a local economy boost for the filming location, and hundreds of actors, extras, producers, directors, and crew, the end product of a new holiday movie thrills Hallmark fans every year.
Imagine if the Christmas nativity was a Hallmark Christmas movie. A virgin claiming to be carrying the Son of God, a census being taken by an occupying empire, a bunch of dirty shepherds, and a 1st-century barn don't exactly shout "Hallmark." Add to that the paranoid King Herod who kills any baby boys born recently, and it's a miss.
If God were trying to make Himself look good, He sure doesn't know how to direct a Hallmark type of movie. Why introduce scandal, make the couple poor, take them to an off-the-beaten-path town called Bethlehem, and send them fleeing to Egypt for safety?
The Hallmark production missteps of the nativity story should tell us a little something about the character and nature of God. Things do not have to be perfect for God to work. People don't have to have it all together for God to care about their lives. Challenging circumstances present tremendous opportunities. Our God is greater than any of our obstacles and can bring about God's perfect plan during them.
Just when folks think God can't do anything, God begins to work. But, when He begins to work, he uses unusual people to do His extraordinary work. He might even send smelly, gruff shepherds into the center of what He is doing. Just what Mary and Joseph needed in the middle of the night after the birth of their son - shepherds making a house call.
Your Christmas, and even your life, might not make a good Hallmark movie, but God has a perfect plan for you!
Without God, the nativity is a tragedy. With God, the story of Christ's birth is a victory. Let's see Hallmark top that!