I absolutely love the Christmas season. For me, it begins in early November—okay, I’m usually a bit early—with the first Hallmark Christmas movies.
Fact is, I don’t have to watch them all the way through. I know the plot: Two people meet by chance, either through a business situation or because one is getting married to someone else (who happens to be a major loser) and the storyline rolls on from there.
The two main characters begin connecting somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour into the movie. But at about the 90-minute mark some hidden secret comes to light and splits our (almost) happy couple.
Thankfully, at the 1:45 point in the program things begin to pull back together, then we have a commercial at 1:52 before the happy ending at 1:55. The kiss is at 1:59 and a new movie begins 60 seconds later.
Like clockwork, Hallmark can be counted on to provide a joyful ending where all is right with the world; the company going broke is saved, someone finds his or her Christmas spirit, the developer closing the Christmas-loving resort changes his mind... and two people find love they never expected.
Yes, I’m a guy who watches football, basketball or whatever sport happens to be on TV, but I’m a sucker for Hallmark movies and the Christmas season.
As I write this in my home office, in front of me is a fireplace (electric) with a lighted garland, an “elf on the shelf” display, and a lighted Christmas village. Behind me is a Christmas tree. And it’s my office. You can only imagine the rest of our home.
Yes, we love Christmas around here. And those predictable Hallmark movies play quite a role.
But why? Why in the world do I tune in to these movies—many times just for the final fifteen minutes—so I can smile and cry at the same time? I’m 54-years-old, a father of five and husband of one, a somewhat responsible fellow who deals with the challenging realities of life in a relatively mature fashion most of the time.
So what is it about Christmas that draws me into this alternate reality?
As a Christian, I watch these movies and while I see a lot about the “magic” of Christmas and the joys of the season, most Hallmark movies (and others like them) say little if anything about Jesus—who happens to be the subject of Christmas.
Tweet This: What even cheesy #Christmas movies tell us about the kingdom. @KirkWalden #prolife
Yet, I’m locked in. And the other day, while watching one of these movies (shocker, right) I figured out why.
While Hallmark movies don’t always hone in on the birth of God’s only son, they do something else: These give us a snapshot—a brief picture—of the kingdom of God.
No, I’m not exactly sure what life in the kingdom of God will be like. But I do know those who know the gift of reconciliation will be there. And I know that in the kingdom of God that Jesus talked of so often, there will be joy, there will be hope, and there will be love.
And just as at the end of every Hallmark movie we see the surprise of a new beginning, we will enter a surprising new beginning on our first day in the kingdom Jesus told us about.
There’s something else: I believe in miracles, just as all of us must if we are involved in pregnancy help organizations.
We believe in amazing futures for children yet to be born. We believe in moms who others may give up on. We believe in dads who are trying to be someone they’ve never had in their own lives. We believe in reconciled relationships and we believe in the joy every child can bring into this world.
Hallmark movies—even if the scripts can be somewhat predictable—remind me that miracles are always possible. And the Christmas season, when we celebrate the moment when God said, “It’s a BOY!”, is the perfect time to remember miracles still take place when Jesus enters any situation.
Tonight then, I’ll likely peek at one of those drippy Christmas movies. I’ll smile, and perhaps shed a tear, because I believe in the miraculous kingdom Jesus said was—and is—“at hand.”
And I believe all of us in pregnancy help ministries have an opportunity to see a snapshot of what that kingdom will look like, every day when we open our doors.