Really Unusual Christmas Movies

3 12 2010

Back in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s there was plenty of movies set around the holidays or Christmas. Some even came out over the summer so when it came time for Christmas, you could get that movie on VHS or Lazer Disc for your loved one. But did they just take place at the season or have something to do with the birth of Christ? No and I do think that these movies make some points about the season.

I do watch these movies myself so I am a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to these holiday viewings. These movies are NOT by any means to be watched with the family. These movies are NOT in anyway related to the story of the birth of Christ. These movies point out that we just don’t get Christmas at all. But we can come away with a new understanding of what Christmas really should be about. And I love each and every minute of these crazed Christmas movies.

LETHAL WEAPON (1987)
The summer of 1987 introduced us to a crazy man who was good at killing because of his Vietnam War days. We met a cop who was gonna retire in a few days. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover then went on to make 3 more of these over the top, over kill movies.
Any during the opening credits, with “Jingle Bell Rock” blaring,Richard Donner takes us to LA at Christmas time. We get to see explosions, murder, drug overdoses, and suicides. AND a kidnapping. GREAT holiday huh?

Now I watch this movie on a regular basis because I enjoy the craziness of the movie. Since it’s set in LA you don’t really realize that it’s Christmas time until you see some decorations. And that final battle with Gary “Mr. Joshua” Busey has some Christmas lights near by. But this has nothing to do with peace, and everything to do with our addiction to violence. We love to see get it in the end and that justice is served. And we know that the movie is NOT what the reality ought to be.

Lethal Weapon serves a purpose. The movie reminds me that the reality that Christ brings is NOT this violent eye for and eye, tooth for a tooth mentality. Jesus taught to “take the hit, get back up and take the hit again.” Really kinda hard to do. And I thank Father that I have never had to do that. But would be willing to do so if needed.

DIE HARD(1988) and DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER (1990)
John McCain , um, MC CLAIN really has a tough life. Trying to save his marriage and get his family back together and he has to battle terrorist on Christmas Eve.
Yet again two more guilty pleasure holiday movies for me. There’s something that just says “Christmas” when John utters “Yippy Ki Ya, Motherfucker”! Or perhaps that is just the true Christmas spirit. Screw everyone else and kill them all.
There is something about seeing the bad guy get it. We all want some kind of justice for the evil done in the world. We like to think we are all the good guys and that the bad guys are from other countries that want to destroy our way of life. Unlike the cinematic bad guys, we can’t just go and kill the evil that is out there in the world. Doesn’t work.
Yet again what I like about the Die Hard Movies is the craziness of it all. That this type of thing would happen at “the most wonderful time of the year” is unthinkable. And yet what happened in Portland Oregon this year at the tree lighting ceremony shows that it could.
And that is the only mention of the event that I will do.

The point I hope I’m making here is we don’t understand what it means to truly live with peace. We enjoy the IDEA of living in peace but we really don’t.

Jesus came into the world to show us what peace looks like. We still don’t want to believe that peace can be everlasting. We would rather fight each other over money. In both Lethal Weapon and Die Hard, money always comes into play. We will fight and die for money. We will fight and die for our personal greed. We will fight and die for most anything. Except for the WAY of peace.

Peace is described as “freedom from civil disorder”. So how can we have this? I don’t see it being possible from any kind of wisdom, religion or institutional law. It has to come from within you. Jesus described “the Kingdom of God/Heaven” as being IN you. He gave many examples of how that Kingdom grows within. He taught a way to understand that.

So what can we learn from these crazy Christmas movies?

That we still don’t get Christ. We still don’t understand Him.

It’s time to re learn why the Winter Solstice was chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I’m looking at the story again as written down in the Gospel According To Luke. To come to an understanding and appreciation for the story that can start to change a life.

I think that Linus gets it right in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” where he retells Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Like Jesus, Linus plants the seed. That’s all it takes. The rest, is up to what is inside you.

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