I love Christmas movies. I could watch them all day long from Thanksgiving to Christmas, from the Hallmark Channel to black and white classics. My son who is 16 is not quite the fan of Christmas movies that I am, so as I was trying to find a good movie to write about for this letter I came across a dystopian Sci-Fi film for Reed to watch with me, “Children of Men.” This is a movie about moving from despair to hope. The movie begins with a drunken Theo almost being blown up trying to get coffee. He has just been drifting through life after the death of his son and all of the children of earth. As Theo says, “I can't really remember when I last had any hope, and I certainly can't remember when anyone else did either. Because really, since women stopped being able to have babies, what's left to hope for?” Theo is paid to save an African refugee because of his political connections. He learns that Kee is pregnant. His mission is to get them sanctuary with a group called the Human Project. This is no easy task as the government and rebels are fighting each other. But in the midst of a refugee camp this baby is born, a baby who will change the world. This movie shows us how very sad a world without children will be. When this baby is born, even though there are bombs and bullets flying, as Theo guides Kee and the baby out of ground zero, everyone who hears the child cry stops and listens, falling to their knees and making the sign of the cross, offer a blessing, or just for a moment feeling wonder and hope. As Jasper says, “Your baby is the miracle the whole world has been waiting for.”
Christmas is that time of year when we get to stop and take a moment to believe in and practice hope. This time of year we wait for a baby to come into the world bringing hope and salvation. My prayer this Christmas is that you will allow yourself to discover the hope of Christmas. That even in the midst of darkness, trouble, despair, we are taught to hope:
"Hope in the Lord! Be strong! Let your heart take courage! Hope in the Lord!" Psalm 27:14
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint, Isaiah 40:31
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, Romans 15:13
Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who he was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. … In his name the nations will put their hope." Matthew 12:15-18, 21
May you discover the hope you need this Christmas.