Ansell: Hallmark movies and reflections on reality, Christmas

KEN ANSELL

We have overdosed on Hallmark Christmas movies at our house. Our friend Sue Brown shared the other day in a social media post that, “Basically, Hallmark has made 437 Christmas movies using 17 actors, five locations and three different plots.” That’s truth.

No wonder we’re screwed up as a culture if we think these movies reflect any kind of reality.  None of these people in these movies really works, they are all in the process of buying a bakery, a bookstore or a cranberry farm.  Then they all live happily ever after.  My life is good but it’s a whole lot more complicated than that.  Every house in these movies has granite countertops, apron sinks in their kitchen with faucets that would make Julia Child jealous.  Why can’t they have at least one house with 1970’s formica and a guy with a real job turning a wrench?

Ken Ansell

Okay, I’m done complaining.  Despite Hallmark movies, we are having a good Christmas season.  The Blonde has all the gifts bought (online shopping), they are wrapped in plaid paper and under our tiny tree that sits in our tiny house.  More importantly, Advent has been a huge blessing!

Your church may or may not do Advent and that’s okay.  Advent is about arrival or coming - it’s about anticipation, waiting for Jesus to show up at Christmas.  It’s really about stretching His birthday out into a month long celebration.  We all know diva’s in our family that turn their birth DAY into a birthday WEEK or even a birthday MONTH.  If anyone should have a birthday month it’s Jesus, right?!

Of course it’s a reminder that the church is waiting on the Second Advent.  The second arrival or coming of Christ (you know Jesus is coming back).  I was in the sanctuary of my church last week praying (it’s what a pastor does), we were planning on decorating for Christmas the next day.  My heart filled with joy thinking (corny, I know but Joy is this week’s Advent theme) about how it must make Jesus feel good to know we are doing all of this for Him, to celebrate Him (Adoration is the theme for the fourth week of Advent) and His birth. 

Our hope (Hope was the theme for the first week of Advent) is in this Guy that He is going to come back and make things right.  Aren’t we anxious for this and even praying for God’s justice to come?  In Revelation 6:10 we read about “souls” that were killed because of the Word of God and they are under the altar and they are praying in loud voices, “O … Lord, … how long before you will judge … and … They were told to rest a little longer.”  That’s us.  We are waiting as well but we wait with faith (Faith is the theme of the second week of Advent).  Can we talk?  What’s the last decision you made based on your trust in the Lord?  Are we faithful anymore?  Shouldn’t we prove ourselves trustworthy and reliable as we wait on the Lord?  Will Jesus find His church living out their faith when He comes to get His church (1st Thessalonians 4:17, 1st Corinthians 15:52)?

Peace and love are the themes for the third week of Advent.  I think peace may be way undervalued by not only the church but our culture as well.  Jesus came to bring peace between us (sin had to be reconciled in order for us to be at peace with a Holy God - Romans 5:10) and the Father (Luke 2:14).  Everyone that has established a relationship with God through Jesus has peace.  Peace is not only about a relationship but also a feeling if I can put it that way.  The presence of peace in our lives is a gift from the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and the Holy Spirit produces this peace (Galatians 5:22-23).

Advent and Christmas are so good!  God is good to remind us of all that we have in Christ, all that we can have and all that we will have one day.  Merry Christmas!  He told me to tell you that.