Have you seen Arthur Christmas? It’s a good film, given the thumbs up by every member of the family (88% approval rating which is pretty high for us). According to the blurb: “Arthur Christmas reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child’s question: ‘So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?’
The answer: Santa’s exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the centre of the film is a story about a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns.”
The mission, of course, is to make sure that every last child on earth has received their present from Father Christmas, and trouble ensues when it comes to light that one has been missed – Gwen from Cornwall. Despite the protest from one character that “one child doesn’t matter” Arthur sets off with Grandsanta to make the delivery. Will they make it in time? If they do, then and only then will Christmas be accomplished.
When the angel came to the shepherds on that hillside outside Bethlehem, he brought a message: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10) The message was that a Saviour had been born, and the message was for all the people. All the people. That’s you and me and, yes, all the people. God’s mission at Christmas is accomplished only when all of us have at least had the opportunity to recieve the gift of Jesus, born to be our Saviour.
Jesus’part in this great mission has already been accomplished. Born in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, he grew up to be crucified to rescue each one of us. As he hung upon the cross he cried out: “It is finished.” The Bible says that “With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30)
But Christmas is only accomplished when we respond to the message of good news of great joy. When like the shepherds we get up and go and see what the fuss is all about. When we accept the love of God and the gift of Jesus for ourselves. When we bow down and worship the newborn King.
So what about you? How do you respond. You see, everyone matters. Every last one of us. I don’t think I’m giving too much away to say that in the film Gwen does (eventually) get her present and the North Pole HQ resounds to the sound of ‘Christmas is accomplished’.
Christmas is God’s mission to us, to offer us the only gift we will ever really need. Have you received your gift? Has Christmas been accomplished?