The Story That Made Us (By Jon Perkins)

I have a confession to make…I like movies. Sorry, that is not true – I LOVE MOVIES!
There is not a genre of movies that I do not like. I get lost in movies – as in, every movie I watch, I pretend I am in that movie. It is real life to me. 
There is no script that characters are reading from, they are actually just living life and I get the privilege to be a part of it for a few hours. I want to discuss movies and re-watch them ad nauseam. 
When Netflix released the show “The Movies That Made Us”, I was beyond stoked. I watched the complete season in one sitting and was totally enthralled the whole time.
The concept of the show is they look at a handful of widely and unanimously popular movies in both opinion and box office success, and told the story of how the movies were made. They talked about casting and casting what ifs…how they were able to finance the movie…what the studio thought…did the cast get along…just about every question you want to know about these movies is asked and answered. It is fantastic!
But here is the thing…
These movies are so widely popular that the details of the movie have been “lost in the weeds.” Even if you have not seen the movies, you have heard about them. Even if you didn’t like the movies, you have talked about them. Even if you never watch them again, when you see one of those characters pop up on the screen, you will think of that movie. 
The Christmas Story – the Birth of Christ – if we are not careful, falls in this category. Churches are filled every Christmas Eve. They are filled with believers and unbelievers, families and singles, friends and enemies, all singing the familiar chorus and hearing a familiar story that everyone knows (even if they don’t believe it, like it, or heard it).
As you read this, do you remember all the details…the behind-the-scenes (prophecy) that had to take place for this Amazing Story to unfold? Allow me to refresh your memory on just a few, and do me and yourself a favor and look up these verses and read them. The Story of Christmas will be one you want to hear and share throughout the year.
CHRIST was to born to a virgin – Matthew was writing this to his Jewish audience of a prophecy from Isaiah that happened over 700 years prior. (Matthew 1:21-23; Isaiah 7:14)
CHRIST was to be born in Bethlehem – Yes, we know that, and we sing the songs, but don’t forget that King Herod knew the prophecy too! He knew what the prophecy of the coming Messiah meant and, in his opinion, that was not good. (Matthew 2:4-6; Micah 5:2-5)
“Out of Egypt I call MY SON” – Joseph flees, knowing Herod is concocting a murderous plan. Everything is falling into place the only way it can…perfectly. (Matthew 2:14-15; Hosea 11:1)
Tears of Rachel – Hurt, pain, suffering, and tears were also part of the prophecy. Herod wasn’t satisfied with not finding Christ, so he in turn killed all children under two in Bethlehem. Remember, it was not a secret Christ was to be born there.  (Matthew 2:17-18; Jeremiah 31:15)
JESUS will be called a Nazarene – Of all the towns to hail from, Nazareth would be far down on the list. Nazareth was not highly thought of, in either popularity or culture, and in fact, people from there were looked down upon…Yet JESUS came from there!
Again, the Jewish audience Matthew was writing this to hundreds of years later knew the prophecy, saw it play out in front of their own eyes, and yet many missed it!

This Christmas, my prayer and hope is when you hear and share the Christmas story, you do so in a fresh perspective.