Tuesday, December 7, 2010

HOPE FOR TODAY: Miracle Beyond 34th Street

In 1947, one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all-time was released, “Miracle on 34th Street”. It was an instant hit winning five Oscars, obtaining millions of viewers and becoming one of the top 10 most inspiring films of the last 100 years, according to the American Film Institute.
In the movie, Kris Kringle (the real Santa Claus), becomes incensed when he observes the designated Macy’s Santa flat out drunk during the Thanksgiving Day parade. Eventually, Kris is awarded the job himself. Despite his success at the job, he spends the movie trying to convince people, especially the adults, that he is not a fake, but the real Santa. Through a number of twists and turns the end of the movie finds a judge being put on the spot to decide if Kris Kringle is the real Santa or not.

Although I love the heartwarming film, the real story of Christmas is noticeably absent. Just as Kris Kringle was incensed at his Santa imposter so Jesus likely is at the revision of modern Christmas where He is replaced with a business friendly Santa Claus. The origins of Christmas go back to between 3 and 5 B.C. On a starlit night in the small country town of Bethlehem was born a little baby boy named Jesus who would eventually grow up to change the world. Years later, followers turned His birth into a celebration calling it Christmas after Jesus the Christ child.

Santa can offer the gift of a toy and or other things, but only Jesus continues to offer the original and greatest Christmas gift ever – the forgiveness of sins for all those who will believe in Him. The Bible says about Jesus’ birth, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). This gift promises to bring the hope of a new life, freedom from guilt and rest for the soul. As part of your task to find the perfect gift this Christmas, turn to the Bible and read about the greatest gift that is still available and without charge. May Jesus bring hope to your Christmas this season.