The Christmas Story

Top Ten Movie lines of all time

10 “The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.”
Fight Club, 1999

9 “There’s no place like home.”
The Wizard of Oz, 1939

8 “You talkin’ to me?”
Taxi Driver, 1976

7 “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
Casablanca, 1942

6 “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
The Godfather, 1972

5 “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
The Wizard of Oz, 1939

4″May the Force be with you.”
Star Wars, 1977
(Who first said it? General Dodonna say it to his troops)
Obi Wan says “The Force will be with you…always.”
“Luke, the Force will be with you.”
“Use the Force, Luke.”
“Remember, the Force will be with you always.”

3 “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”Jaws, 1975

2 “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Casablanca

1″Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Gone With the Wind, 1939

Do you know what all of the best stories have in common. They tell the Christmas story. They are all stories about an underdog. What’s your favorite underdog story

Rocky Balboa is a nobody with no prospects. Then he gets a shot at the title and, “Yo adrian” he stands toe to toe with the champion of the world and almost beats him. Then he does beat him. Then he fights a big Russian and singlehandedly ends the cold war. It’s awesome

A kid, a karate kid, who doesn’t know Karate and then about a week later, wax on, wax off, he takes down the Cobra Kai. I’m not sure Karate is quite that simple but lets jut go with it.

The Hoosiers come from nowhere to win the state title.

A Rat becomes a sous chef.
Then with ancient China on the verge of destruction an unlikely hero steps up. A panda. A kung fu panda. You think it’s hard to learn Karate in a week, try doing it as a panda.

Mulan pretends to be a man and saves China. I had no idea how often China needed to be saved.

I love a good underdog story. But there is no better underdog story than the Chrismas story. It starts like this.

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a]Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:1-7

Jesus had nothing going for him when he came into this world.
Jesus parents weren’t married when he was born.
There was no family around.
They had no money. When they went to dedicate their baby in the temple the only sacrifice the could afford were two doves which was the sacrifice most commonly used by poor widows.
Jesus grew up in Nazareth. It’s a tiny town with a bad reputation. When the disciples were first gathering around Jesus Philip found Nathanael and told him “We found the messiah. Jesus of Nazareth.” This was Nathaniel’s response.  “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46)
The modern translation of this verse would be, “We found the Messiah. Jesus of Bakersfield.” “Bakersfield. Can anything good come from there?”
Is there anyone from Bakersfield here? I’m sorry.

Philippians 2:7 says (Jesus) made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

The Christmas story is the ultimate underdog story. Jesus came from the smallest most insignificant town to become the most famous character in the history of the world. Jesus grew up with no money but paid the ultimate price for our sin. Jesus was born to unwed parents but would become a father to all of us. Jesus was born in a dirty manger but he would rise to his throne in heaven.

Jesus is the greatest underdog story. The reason he came is for underdogs

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Luke 2

Jesus was an underdog. He was born in a stable. His parents were poor and unmarried. His town didn’t have stop lights or a movie theater. I think that’s one of the reasons why he likes people who are the least so much. He was one of them.

Star Wars
(Want me to tell you how the new one ends?)
Lord of the Rings
Inside out
Planet of the Apes

Those are all great classic movies. Do you know what they all have in common. They tell the Christmas story as well. These stories all tell how the Christmas story ends. Jesus put it like this.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends John 15:13

Jack gives his life for Rose, although I’m pretty sure there was room enough for both of them on that board.
Flynn sacrifices his life for Rapunzel and he gives her a stylish haircut in the process. Then Flynn rises from the dead.
ET sacrifices his life for Eliot
Obi Wan sacrifices his life for his friends
Gandalf gives his life for the fellowship of the ring
In Inside out Bing Bong the elephant thing sacrifices his life for Joy. “Who’s your friend who likes to play, Bing Bong, Bing Bong.”
In the Planet of the Apes Caesar the ape gives up his life for his friends.

These are just a few of the movies and stories that tell of one person, in a great act of love, giving their life for another. There are literally thousands more.

Mufasa in the Lion King
Anna in Frozen
Neo in the Matrix
Ripley in Alien 3
Spock in The Wrath of Kahn
Kirk in
Alex Murphy in Robocop
King Leionides in 300
John Coffey in The Green Mile
The Giant in Iron Giant
William Wallace in Braveheart
Harry Potter
Maximus in Gladiator
Kyle Reese in the Terminator
Then the Terminator in Terminator 2
Cool Hand Luke
Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino
Harrison Ford in Blade Runner
Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia

When my son was 6 years old he was really into Pokemon so I took him to the first Pokemon Movie. It was the last time I fell asleep in a movie theater. But I woke up just in time to see the end of the movie where Ash Ketchem sacrifices his own life to save Pikachu.

Over and over and over this story is told. Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. Do you know why? Hollywood has not figured out a better way to say I love you than Jesus did.