Elf is one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time. For the past 5 years, the Christmas season has officially begun when we watch this movie. However, some people hate this movie. To those people, I say, “Then you hate Christmas.”
Early in the movie, we learn that the Christmas spirit is dwindling. Santa’s sleigh cannot fly without this Christmas spirit, so some of his elves decide to attach a jet engine to it. Ultimately, Santa is powerless without enough Christmas spirit.
It seems like most Christmas movies revolve around the idea of “belief.” In The Santa Clause, Scott Calvin’s (played by Tim Allen) son has stopped believing in Santa because he feels that it simply does not seem logical for one man with flying reindeer to be able to travel around the world in one evening to deliver presents to every child. Scott’s rebuttal is that belief is simply about believing.
Growing up, I learned that some people envision God as a personal Santa Claus. You ask him for something, and if you’re good, you will get it. I’m going to take a different spin on the Santa Claus God thing.
In the movie Elf, Santa’s power comes from Christmas spirit – belief. Without this Christmas spirit, Santa is powerless.
In our “spiritual journeys” there are natural ebbs and flows in our faith. High tides and low tides. Mountain tops and valleys. Luckily, God’s power is not in direct correlation to our faith. His power is not weakened when our faith is low.
He is still God.
Look back at the Old Testament to the story of the ten commandments. While Moses is up on the mountain talking to God and getting a 10 rules for righteous living, the other Hebrew people are down in the valley making a golden calf to worship. In one of God’s most powerful moments, His people are turning away from Him.
A few pages earlier, the Hebrews are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Red Sea is in front of them, and the Egyptian army is behind them. They start to grumble for a return to their previous lives as slaves. They lose sight of God, but God’s still acts; He parts the Red Sea for the Hebrews to pass through.
The Bible is full of stories like these where God’s people turn their backs on Him. They lose faith, but God still acts and delivers them.
I take comfort in the fact that when life pulls the rug out from under me, and my faith starts to slide, God still works. He flexes His muscles and shows His power. God remains powerful. He remains faithful.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory.” – Ephesians 3:20-21