My family loves the movie Elf. This year we watched the movie version starring Will Ferrell, and the cartoon version starring Jim Parsons, both to hilarious laughter, though I think most of the family would say they prefer the movie version.
The premise of the movie is that a human, named Buddy, is raised by elves in Santa’s Workshop. As he grows into an adult he struggles being so different from the elves, as you can see in the picture above. His solution is to leave the North Pole, and travel to New York City to find his real dad. Once there much hilarity ensues, but in the process Buddy discovers a troubling reality. So many people, including his dad, have lost the Christmas spirit.
Buddy, of course, has a personal friendship with Santa and his reindeer, so he assumes the truth of Christmas. Buddy is filled with Christmas spirit. In New York City, though, he finds Santa Claus impersonators, a disturbing lack of Christmas cheer, and plenty of nonbelievers.
One of the central questions of the movie is how to help people regain that Christmas spirit. I encourage you to watch the movie to see how it turns out.
As we continue studying the Gospel of Luke we come to Luke 13:10-21 where some people in Jesus’ community, like those people in the movie Elf, seem to have lost something. While the people in the movie lost the Christmas spirit, the people in Jesus’ day had lost a true understanding of the Kingdom of God.
In Luke, we’ll see that they thought the Kingdom was one way, and Jesus says “No, it is something very different.” In essence we’ll hear Jesus say “You’ve lost the spirit of the Kingdom of God.” It’s a pretty shocking story because the very people who are to understand the Kingdom best actually don’t understand it.
Because of that, this story just might be very instructive to us. Do we know what the Kingdom of God is like? Do we understand how it works? How is God’s Kingdom supposed to impact us? Can you say that you have been impacted by the Kingdom of God?
What does the Kingdom of God matter, anyway? Is it possible that we think we have a firm grasp on the Kingdom of God, but we have actually lost it?
Join us at Faith Church as we talk about this further.