Friday, 19 September 2014
Christmas Movie Time
What movie does your family like to watch during the Christmas holidays?
White Christmas is my personal favorite. Too many years in Southern California and Arizona make me all misty eyed for snowy Vermont. Throw in Bing Crosby’s velvet vocals and Danny Kaye’s slapstick and I’m hooked. Plus dance. Dance is always a plus in my book. I especially love Danny Kaye’s modern dance number, “Doing Choreography.” It’s the best popular explanation of the Martha Graham phenomenon that I know.
How Christian is this Christmas movie? Hmmm. I’ve never really asked that question. I just switch my brain off and enjoy the post World War II nostalgia. It seems like simpler times. It seems almost innocent. It seems like they don’t even need Jesus…oh, wait. That can’t be true.
White Christmas is a good story, but it’s not the Christmas story. It’s simply a sentimental “do-something-good-for the general” story. It’s helpful to realize that and say it out loud. I don’t think it diminishes my enjoyment of the movie. It just helps me enjoy it the right way.
If you’d like to think theologically about the movies you watch at Christmas, listen to Michael Horton and his band of jolly elves discuss The Theology of Christmas Movies at the White Horse Inn.
If you’d like to talk about a movie with the family before, during or after you watch it, ask these questions
- What do I enjoy about this movie? (celebrate what appeals to you and also bring it out in the open)
- What is the bad news/problem in this movie?
- What is the good news/solution in this movie?
- How is the gospel of Jesus Christ more wonderful news? (take a minute to talk about and savor that)
Then go and enjoy the movie as a good story, but not a gospel story.