Join the One. That is our Christmas season theme this year. What will it take for us to join Christ for the most soul-satisfying Christmas we could experience. Today’s thought comes from a classic Christmas movie. Let me be completely honest with you, my favorite Christmas movie of all time is not “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Frosty the Snowman” or anything that you can find on Hallmark. The best all time Christmas movie is “Elf.” Let me also clarify, that in my world, it’s been all downhill for Will Ferrell since “Elf.”
But a half dozen years ago, Ferrell was in a deeply theological movie (“Talledega Nights”) about a race car drive by the name of Ricky Bobby. Now I’m not suggesting you go see this move, the only high point was the theological scene. This scene was a reminder of something we can easily forget at Christmas.
In this movie, Ricky is not exactly the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but at one point in the film, Ricky Bobby prays. We don’t see many people praying in movies today, and this was no happy holidays generic prayer, it was a prayer in Jesus’ name. Ricky Bobby is sitting down with his family to pray before the meal, and his prayer goes like this…
Dear Tiny Baby Jesus in Your tiny baby crib, with your golden fleece diapers, with Your tiny little hands and feet, watching Your tiny little Einstein Baby Development videos… thank you for this bountiful harvest of Domino’s Pizza and Taco-Bell… (and he continues on to talk about all the things he is thankful for, like his two sons Texas and Walker Ranger and then he ends with something like) and Xmas Baby Jesus, please use Your tiny little superpowers to keep me winning on the racetrack. Amen.
Because even if he is baby Christmas Jesus, if he can’t get us the stuff we want, what’s the point, right? In the middle of it all, Ricky’s wife, who is marginally more intellectual than Ricky, interrupted his prayer with, “Hey Sweetie, you know Jesus did grow up. I don’t think you are supposed to pray to the little Baby Jesus, because He grew up and became a man, and I think you’re supposed to pray to Grownup Jesus.” To which Ricky Bobby replies,
“I don’t want to pray to that Jesus. I like praying to the little Baby Jesus, because it makes me feel good just to think about Him being a tiny infant. So when you’re praying, you can pray to the Grownup Jesus, or the Teenage Jesus, or the Bearded Jesus, or whomever you want to, but I like Christmas Jesus.”
I think a lot of people like little baby Jesus and Christmas is our annual opportunity to grab this sweet cuddly baby Jesus who isn’t old enough to know our minds, or strong enough to change our ways, or holy enough to convict our hearts. But I want to suggest to you that we will never truly join Christ for Christmas, if we don’t let the baby grow up.
As Isaiah the prophet looked down through the centuries, he described the first Christmas with those ancient words that have been read for thousands of years, Isaiah 9:6-7, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” From child to son to Prince of Peace, Isaiah lets us know that the baby will grow up.
What makes Christmas, truly awesome, full of wonder and joy, expectantly hopeful; what makes Christmas all it could be is the rest of the story. The baby grew up to divide history, change the world, and love us whole.
Here is my challenge, just pray this prayer whenever you think of Christmas:
Jesus, be huge in my life and grow large in my heart.