Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas at the Movies: Home Alone

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way.” – Isaiah 53:6

For the Christmas season this year, our church is having some fun by taking a look at a few favorite holiday movies. Our attenders voted on their favorite Christmas films, and my job is to find a lesson from God’s word that applies to each of them. First up, we highlighted the movie that tied for third place in our congregation’s vote. Released in 1990, for 28 years it held the record as the highest grossing Christmas movie of all time. The movie? “Home Alone.”

The film tells the story of the 8-year-old troublemaker Kevin McCallister, who is accidentally left home alone while the rest of his family flies to Paris for Christmas vacation. At the beginning of this movie, let’s just say it: Kevin is a spoiled brat. He starts out by complaining, “Why do I always get treated like scum?” Through his actions, he answers his own question pretty fast. He calls his mom a “dummy.” Then he tells her, “I don’t want to see you again for the rest of my whole life.” And then he tells his whole family, “I hope I never see any of you jerks again.”

In short, Kevin is behaving like a little jerk, lashing out in anger, disrespecting his parents and rebelling against their authority. And do you know who Kevin reminds me of? He reminds me of you and me. Isaiah 53:6 comes to mind: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Eight-year old Kevin, like you and me, is a little sheep that went astray; like you and me, he’s turned to his own way. In the movie, Kevin’s mom is the unappreciated dumping ground for his bad behavior. In real life, Jesus Christ is the unappreciated dumping ground for ours. 

Eventually young Kevin is banished to the attic, thinking to himself, “I wish they would all just disappear.” Then overnight, a storm rolls in and the power goes out, causing everyone’s alarm clocks to stop working. The next morning Kevin’s family flies out the door to catch their plane while Kevin sleeps like a baby in the attic. Later Kevin wakes up, casually walks downstairs, and is surprised to discover the whole house is empty. He decides his wish caused some kind of Christmas miracle, and he gloats: “I made my family disappear!”

Kevin wastes no time jumping on his parents’ bed while shoving popcorn in his mouth. He runs around the house like a crazy man. He eats whatever he wants. He watches whatever “rubbish” he wants to on TV. To Kevin, being home alone is a dream come true! He feels so free!

Let me ask: Why do you and I sin? Why do we rebel against God’s laws and ignore His commands? Because it’s fun, right? Don’t deny it: Sin can be a LOT of fun. When you’re in the moment, getting drunk can be fun. Gossiping can be fun. Having premarital sex or an affair can be fun. But the fun of sin is short-lived, isn’t it? As Paul writes in Romans, 6:23 “The wages of sin is death.” In other words, sin might be fun in the moment, but it’ll end up killing you.

For the first 24 hours or so that Kevin is home alone, he has a blast. He can say anything he wants. He can do anything he wants. But after the first day, it starts to get old … especially when he finds himself in the crosshairs of two burglars who wanted to loot his house while his parents are gone. Kevin thought life with his family was just horrible. But within about 48 hours he discovers the truth: Life WITHOUT his family was what was truly horrible.

Can’t we say the same about life without Jesus? Life without Jesus ends up being really horrible. Sin seems fun for a while, but it never really satisfies us for any length of time. Only Jesus satisfies. He alone is the living water who quenches our spiritual thirst. He alone is the bread of life who answers our soul’s hunger for meaning and purpose. Only Jesus satisfies.

By Christmas Eve, Kevin is feeling pretty empty. Being home alone isn’t working out the way he imagined. And as he walks home in the dark, he passes a church and goes inside. I’m not sure we can say that Kevin has a “religious experience,” but this short church visit becomes a defining moment in Kevin’s life. As he leaves the chapel, he’s determined to stand up to the burglars and fight for his home. And even though he never says so, his wish has changed. Instead of wishing his family would disappear, he wishes they’d come back—especially the mom he dumped on just a few days earlier. And about 12 hours later (with two crooks severely beaten up and on their way to jail), Kevin’s wish comes true.

By the time his family comes home, Kevin has come to his senses. He realizes that he unfairly dumped on his mom. Deep down he loves her. He needs her. And Christmas without her is empty. I hope and pray that you’ve come to the same conclusion about your family. At times, you’ve taken your parents, your spouse or your kids for granted, and you’ve unfairly dumped on them. But deep down you realize you love them; that Christmas without your family is empty.

And Christmas without Jesus Christ is even more empty. We’ve taken Jesus for granted and dumped on him far too often. But the truth is: I need Jesus Christ in my Christmas celebration. You need Jesus Christ in your Christmas celebration. In fact, not only is Christmas empty without him—LIFE is empty without him. So, open your heart’s door and invite him back home this Christmas season. In the long-run, it’s no fun being home alone without Jesus at Christmas.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for our holiday message series, “Christmas at the Movies,” Sundays at 10 a.m. at the new Dr. Ralph Baker School in Victorville. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc.

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