I love a good Hallmark movie at Christmas. I watched several this past weekend, with a bowl of popcorn on my lap, slippers on my feet and a smile on my face. I even watched two that I had not seen last Christmas, and maybe the Christmas before. Jim sat with me for about 15 minutes and then remembered some pressing work he needed to get done. (Hallmark movies are rarely, if ever, found in the “Action and Adventure” section of the movie store, and therefore not his cup of tea.) But I like a good movie where the only thing that gets blown up are the balloons for the birthday party…for the child that was orphaned…and now has miraculously found a loving family for the holiday…who had always wanted a child…but only had a dog…until meeting each other in the dog park…and although annoyed with each other at first…fell in love and adopted the afore mentioned orphan child…that they found hiding in the bathroom of the afore mentioned dog park. Maybe I should take a break from blogging and write a script for a Hallmark movie!
I don’t mind watching these movies more than once because it seems like I see something new each time. I’ve been teaching the Christmas story to people for years and I never get tired of it. I used to teach second grade and I always found a way to share Jesus in the classroom, even though I taught in a public school.
I had a great professor in college that taught us that children will almost always bring up Jesus at Christmas – and the children had permission to speak their opinions in the classroom. So…at Christmas and Easter I knew which children to call on when their hands were raised, and then my encouragement of their answer was completely acceptable. It wouldn’t be considered “PC” these days – unless you define “PC” as practicing Christianity.
I don’t want to be labeled narrow, intolerant, or socially incorrect – but I do want to be labeled a Christian. Christian means “Christ follower or little Christ” and it was first used as a way to slander someone. Acts 11:26 reads, “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” Antioch was a city in the Roman Empire known for being a “melting pot” of the Roman, Greek, Jewish and Gentile cultures. When the Christian church was formed in Antioch, it became a “melting pot” church. Its membership consisted of people from many cultures, having one faith. They were Christians. The people in the early Church eventually accepted the name gladly, even though it had been derisive in the beginning. The church in Antioch is credited with beginning foreign missions because they helped Paul with his missionary journeys. Paul, Barnabus and Peter all taught in the Antioch church as well as a host of other early church leaders. The church in Antioch was known for its strong witness and that is why the members were called “Christians.”
The Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel cover everything from Santa to Saints – and we are entertained by watching them. But if someone is watching the way we celebrate the holiday, I hope they will point out the fact we are Christians. Don’t worry if they intend it as slander – you are in great company!