The Reel Christmas
"I Know Him!"
Today is the final sermon in our Advent Series, “The Reel Christmas” a four-part series highlighting themes selected from favorite Christmas movies.
In week one, The Miracle on 34th Street highlighted themes of faith and believing.
In week two, How the Grinch Stole Christmas highlighted the fact that it’s all about the heart.
In week three, It’s A Wonderful Life highlighted how important it is to not compare yourself to others, but rather find your ultimate joy in what you do have instead of what you don’t.
Today, Christmas Eve, we learn a very important lesson from “Buddy the Elf” who understood a great deal about the true elements of Christmas – not the least of which was the ultimate excitement he showed when the announcement was made that “Santa was coming,” and he exclaimed: “I KNOW HIM!”
In case you haven't seen it - here is a short overview of this Christmas Comedy Classic:
Movie Synopsis (Gleaned largely from MHM.com <Movie House Memories – a Movie Review Blog>)
On Christmas Eve, a baby boy crawls into Santa Claus's sack at an orphanage and is unwittingly transported back to the North Pole. When discovered at the workshop, the elves name him "Buddy" because he is wearing "Little Buddy Diapers", and he is adopted by Papa Elf.
Papa Elf raises the little one as an Elf and names him Buddy. But the growing boy just doesn’t fit in because of his size and lack of elfish talent.
As Buddy (Will Farrell) develops into a discouraged man, Papa Elf decides that it is time to tell Buddy the truth about where he came from. Buddy learns for the first time of his deceased Mother and living Father that is on the naughty list. Buddy sets off through the candy cane forest to New York City to find his family.
In the Big City, Buddy is able to track down his Father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan) who never knew he existed and is not happy to meet this quirky man that eagerly calls him Dad.
Walter has a patient wife (Mary Steenbergen) and a son named Michael that come to accept Buddy as part of their family and force Walter to attempt a relationship with his long-lost son.
Buddy enthusiastically tours the city where he finds the world’s best cup of coffee. He lands a job at a department store where he meets and falls for Jovie (Zooey Deschaenel), who is working as an elf. Buddy loses this job when he calls out the fake and intoxicated store Santa and they get into a huge brawl.
Walter gives Buddy a job at his company where Buddy causes havoc for Walter and they have a falling out. Walter does not care about the quality of his books and only cares about making money. Buddy disrupts an important meeting between Walter and Miles Finch, a successful author who happens to be height challenged. Walter is infuriated and tells Buddy to get out of his life.
Buddy is hurt and runs away. As he roams the streets of NYC on Christmas Eve, he sees Santa and his team in distress in Central Park. Buddy tries to help Santa fix his sleigh but it won’t run because there isn’t enough Christmas spirit.
Jovie remembers Buddy telling her “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear.” Jovie begins singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and as others on the street and watching live news reports on television and even Walter join in, the sleigh begins to run. Santa’s job is saved!
Papa Elf updates the audience with the rest of the story. Buddy and Jovie marry and visit the North Pole with their “little one” and Walter is rehabilitated and founds his own successful publishing company. His first book is Buddy’s story. Everyone lives happily ever after and has a Merry Christmas.
I want to ask you some very important questions this morning.
Do you know Jesus, the baby born in the manger on Christmas Day?
Do you know Him?
How excited are you about knowing Him?
Why would we be ultimately excited about knowing Jesus and exclaiming like Buddy the Elf did, “I Know Him!?”
I want to unpack three reasons why we should be as excited as Buddy the Elf to be able to say: “I Know Him”
Reason #1: We should be excited because of Who He is!
John 1:1, 14, 18 - In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
In the beautiful Christmas Song, What Child is This? The author pens these incredible words:
What Child is this - Who laid to rest - On Mary's lap is sleeping? Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet, While shepherds watch are keeping? So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh, Come Peasant, King to own Him The King of Kings salvation brings, Let loving hearts enthrone Him. This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing - Haste, haste, to bring Him laud, The Babe, the Son of Mary. This is incredible knowledge! This is life-altering, a true “life-event!”
Reason #2: We should be excited because what Christ did for us!
I John 2:2-3 - He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.
I Timothy 2:5 - For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity--the man Christ Jesus.
Jesus is it – He’s our only hope! And as a bonus, people all around, every year, celebrate His coming!
Reason #3: We should be excited because we can have complete access to the Christ of Christmas and to the “out of this world” benefit of having a personal relationship with Him.
Paul, while under house arrest in either Rome or Ephesus, wrote an incredibly encouraging letter to church in Philippi that he sent back with Epaphroditus after Epaphroditus delivered a monetary gift to Paul from the church. This letter, has been termed by man as having the main theme of “Joy.” In this letter, we find Paul’s reason for excitement!
Phil. 3:10-11 - I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
The reason why Paul was excited? When Christ enters our life through trusting in Him alone for our salvation, we experience the same power that raised Him from the dead.
Look with me at Ephesians 2:1-8!
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
This Gift? It’s Jesus! When we are born, we have to deal with spiritual death – being “dead to Christ because of our sin.” But the same power that raised Him from the dead has come to us. By accepting His Gift of salvation, we too can experience a resurrection from death to life eternal.
That knowledge is incredible! Do you know Jesus? Will you exclaim to everyone, everywhere – like Buddy the Elf when hearing that Santa was coming, – “I Know Him!?”