Saturday, December 8, 2007

New Beginnings

Today I went to the show and saw a movie that will probably go unnoticed by many. It's entitled Noelle. I occasionally shed a tear at the theater, but I don't usually blubber uncontrollably like I did at this one. It's a low budget, hardly publicized movie, with a touching message. It will never win an Emmy or an Oscar (though it has been recognized at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival). Those who act in it are unrecognizable as famous stars. However, there are three words spoken at the end of the movie that are very profound and life changing.

As Christmas approaches for Christians, Hanukkah for Jews, and the Holidays for others, we are all participating in a time of the year that is meant to touch our hearts. For Christians, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. For Jews, the story Hanukkah and its miracles, and for others it's a time for Happy Holidays, Santa, and the ushering in of a new year. One standard theme prevails, however, and that's the one of gift giving.

I remember as a child Christmas had such a magical feeling, a spirit, an air of anticipation, an awe surrounding Christmas eve. But now as an adult, alone and single, I feel very little of those things. Instead I'm surrounded by a world gone mad, with crowded streets, parking lots, and short fuses on the road. Everyone is pressured to perform in the area of gift giving. The holidays are commercialized and pushed on us after Halloween by retailers. It holds more meaning in the consumer price index than it does in the hearts of men.

The movie Noelle is a story of two priests, who both have problems, failures, secrets, and questions about their lives. It's a story of people who carry guilt and shame. It also has in it the meaning of Christmas, and that is a gift. The gift is one of a new beginning.

So this Christmas, if you could have one gift what would it be? Would it be that cool new phone, that big screen TV, that I-Pod, or other neat gadget you've wanted all year long? If someone had a gift of a new beginning, would you take it in its place?

This holiday, remember the reason for the season and ponder the three little words spoken at the end of this movie as your gift to take. "All is forgiven."


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