In honor of Christmas, I thought I would share something in the vein of Christmas spirit. Who better expresses holiday cheer than Buddy the Elf from the movie Elf? I recently watched this with a friend of mine for our Christmas get-together. As the film progressed, I just kept thinking to myself how Buddy’s innocent enthusiasm should be the same type of joy we constantly express for God and His creation.
As a young elf in school, buddy learns the Code of the Elves. It consists of the three guidelines that says,
“1) Treat every day like Christmas. 2) There’s room for everyone on the nice list. 3) The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” You could say that following similar guidelines would be beneficial for Christians. It would bring each person closer to God, which in turn allows them to outwardly share God’s love, thus spreading the joy.
We too can treat every day like Christmas. Even when it is the Christmas season it seems like we all forget the wonder of Christ’s birth and life. Somehow the idea has become so common that we seem numb to it. Yet we know the truths: Jesus was born of a miraculous birth, and He came to give us all salvation. In Luke 2:11, the angel tells the shepherds, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” They go see Jesus, worship Him, and spread the news. We too are called to spread the Good News. After his resurrection, Jesus tells His apostles, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15). Later on Acts 5:42 reads, “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” Obviously we have not interacted with Jesus physically and did not witness his resurrection, but we have received salvation through His death. We live in His mercy, and we can spread that grace as it is continually renewed.
The second part of the elves’ code says, “There’s room for everyone on the nice list.” This guideline can easily correlate to evangelism and the idea that there is always room for more people in Heaven as part of God’s adoptive family. Ephesians describes how in God’s love for us, “he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding” (1:5-8). Joining God’s eternal family provides more for us at which to wonder. Jesus’ blood redeemed us, and in grace God adopts us into His family. As the end of the passage notes, God also bestows upon us wisdom and understanding. We should use these gifts, coupled with grace, to spread God’s love, inviting other people into His eternal family.
However, it takes effort extend these invitations. Using Buddy as an example, you can see how his enthusiasm is received in most cases. People look at him like he’s crazy and dismiss him or they return his joy with hostility. As Christians we will face similar reactions. Yet we shouldn’t let that damper the brightness of God’s light in us. He continually brings us joy, and we can keep letting that overflow so that others can benefit from it. Even a little friendly action can brighten someone’s day. You never know when a simple smile at a person you pass on the street might make a difference in that life. Maybe you were the only one who showed friendly warmth to that individual. We never know how we plant seeds and how they will grow. Chapter nine in 2 Corinthians talks about sowing generously. A passage encourages us to do good for others because, “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. this service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (11-15). We should constantly seek ways to plant the seed for God’s Word.
Finally, the best way to spread God’s love is letting His light in us shine bright for all to see. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), and God “made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6b). We need to let that light shine brightly as we let God’s love overflow in our everyday living, sharing it with everyone we encounter. Buddy happily declares, “I’m in love! I’m in love! I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!” It should be that evident through our expressions and behaviors that we are deeply in love with God and want the world to know it.