We all have that one Christmas special or movie we have to make time for during the holiday season. And sure, I love “Elf” and “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Charlie Brown Christmas” and of course “Die Hard”. But “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is my personal favorite Christmas movie.
The original music is infectious. The emotions are heartfelt. Michael Caine as Scrooge should have won an Oscar.
If you’ve never been won over by the charms of the movie you might think this is all blasphemous. You might think adding Kermit and Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat to Charles Dickens’ classic story to be a literary crime.
But what makes “The Muppet Christmas Carol” work so well is that it really doesn’t stray from the author’s original story.
The Henson company clearly had a deep respect for the original text. The lessons of Ebenezer Scrooge’s visits from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future are reinforced amidst the cheesy puns. The songs and the humorous charms of the Muppets are there to enhance the narrative and message of the classic story, not distract from it.
“The Muppet Christmas Carol” stands the test of time because it takes the central message of the original and remakes it in its own unique voice for a new audience.
Indeed I believe this is what we are all called to do with the story of Christmas.
Each one of us has our own individual connection to the Christmas story. I believe we all have something beautiful and true and unique to us that only we can communicate to the world. Though the core message of the story, it is our responsibility and our privilege to “remake” the Christmas story in our own voice.
When I say “remake” I do not mean that anyone should distort or warp or overshadow or add to the sacred text. Instead we simply share what the Christmas story brings to our hearts, how it makes us feel and where we see the presence of Jesus amongst the presents of the world, hoping our voice will connect in a way that someone else’s couldn’t.
Over the next few weeks there will be a new post every weekday exploring the story of Jesus amidst the commercialization of Christmas. I believe it’s really there if we’re willing to look for it. I’ll be joined by a few of my friends and favorite bloggers along the way. And Kate and I will throw in a very special episode of What Would Jesus Watch? as well.
Whether through music or movies, worship services or nativity plays, in a sanctuary or in your living room, I pray you will remake the Christmas story anew in your heart this year, experiencing it with a reinvigorated hope.
The story of Christmas is powerful enough to connect with any person – you don’t have to add to it or embellish it. Our calling is not to rewrite the story of but to remake it year after year with our own original, God-given voice.
What’s your favorite version of the Christmas story? Leave a comment and join the conversation. And be sure to subscribe to Pop God Blog to follow along with the 12 Blogs Of Christmas!