Merry Christmas Eve! Today we are throwing back to 2003 to look at some of the many wonderful lessons taught by one of my favorite Christmas movies, Elf. And a bunch of it relates back to the Bible, so I’ll be adding verses as well (it’s all about #FUF — finding unauthorized faith). 😉
1. Treat everyday like Christmas.
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” ~ Luke 17:20-21 ESV
For Christians, everyday is Christmas, because Christmas is about God sending His Son to us. To me, each time someone new discovers Christ, it is Christmas. So, no matter what day you are reading this post, Merry Christmas!
1, a. Look for Santa everywhere and be super excited about him coming.
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. ~ Philippians 3:20 NLT
1, b. Make work your thing.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. ~ Colossians 3:23 NLT
1, c. Find your thing and do more of it.
Buddy continued to work heartily as if for Santa (not his grouchy bosses); and because of that his work was very well done and highly praised. We each have a “thing” or set of “things” we do very well, we just need to do more of them. Like Buddy!
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. ~ 1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT
2. Remember there’s room for everyone on the nice list.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NLT
2, a. Care about everybody.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. ~ John 13:34 NIV
2, b. It’s not what we are born, but what we grow to be.
Moses was born a slave. Joseph was hated by his brothers. David was a shepherd. Esther was an orphan. Ruth was a pagan. Peter was a fisherman. Jesus was born in a barn.
2, c. Everyone has purpose and talent.
A burp like Buddy’s is pure talent. That was awesome!
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. ~ Psalm 139:13-16 NLT
3. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. ~ Acts 16:25-26 ESV
3, a. Christmas Spirit is about believing, not seeing.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” ~ John 20:29 NLT
3, b. Belief is powerful.
Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” ~ Matthew 17:19-20 NLT
3, c. If you can sing alone, you can sing in front of other people.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! ~ Psalm 100:1-2 ESV
Other Practical Tips:
1. Always have a jar of maple syrup on you for emergencies.
2. Be careful what you call people. What may be a compliment to you, could be an insult to someone else.
3. Say sorry when you mess up. Sincere apologies soften hearts (usually).
4. Don’t eat used gum, there’s only one first Ray’s, and peep shows are not about sugary marshmallows.
5. Do not get a running start to put the star on the tree; it never works out well.
6. Do not tell store-Santa’s they sit on a throne of lies.
Striking Biblical Parallels:
“Buddy, there’s something I have to tell you right now. Um, I didn’t mean anything I said back there, not word. I know you may be a little, um, um… Uh, chemically imbalanced, But you’ve been right about a lot of things. I… I don’t want you to leave. You’re my son, and I… love you.” ~ Buddy’s Dad
Buddy’s Dad repents. He apologizes from a sincere and changed heart. Then he asks Buddy what Buddy wanted to tell him, and lets Buddy lead him into the forest to “show” him something. Jesus called us to repent and then follow Him, and by doing so he will lead us to Truth.
So, uh… you’re, uh… Santa Claus. Right. ~ Buddy’s Dad
After Buddy’s Dad repents, Buddy leads him to the truth—Santa is real. The second part of salvation is belief. Repentance and belief.
3. Fallen Angels
The Central Park Rangers were put on the Naughty List by Santa, and they never forgave him. They ride dark horses, and try to prevent belief in Santa. They are highly symbolic of demons (fallen angels) that, because they were cast out of heaven for being evil, have a major issue with God and are bent on keeping people from believing in him and his love.
Santa reads from his “book” to Michael (Buddy’s brother), and that invokes belief into Michael. Michael then reads Santa’s book on the news and invokes belief in more people. This imagery parallels what we are told to do with scripture. Reading scripture leads to knowledge of the Truth, which leads to belief.
Singing helps revive belief in Santa again. This is symbolic of the power of singing to God. See the story about Paul and Silas in the prison, singing praises, and the doors opening for them. There is power in singing.
6. Christ figure.
Buddy managed to save Christmas. And his spirit saved a lot of other people, too. ~ Papa Elf
Buddy is a Christ figure. His gift is spreading the spirit of Christmas (Christ spread the Spirit to all who ask for it). And Christ saved everyone in all of time who ever wants to be saved.
That’s a pretty cool story, I’d say.