I believe our nation is on the threshold of a major revival, perhaps not equaled since the Great Awakening. The signs are there-some of them subtle, some not-sosubtle. One important sign is what appears to be the re-emergence of Jesus Christ in Christmas.
Christians have long known that it is more important to be "correct" than "politically correct". Christmas is about Christ, and that is "correct", accurate and true to history and tradition. Santa Claus, reindeer, wreaths, Christmas trees are fine, but what it is all about is the birth of the Messiah. Christmas heralds the turning point in history.
There is now evidence that our prayers over the last few years are being answered. Hollywood, Big Business-they seem to be finally getting the message: There are believers out there! God is alive and well in the popular culture!
Yes, the Christ-child is creeping back into Christmas. No, let me rephrase that- Christ is marching triumphantly back into
Christmas. Hollywood is recognizing it, as are Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Sears, Macy's and others. The tide is starting to turn.
The new movie, "The Nativity Story," was a welcome reprieve from the usual holiday fare of action, violence, cornball comedy, and even those films that revolve around "the holiday season".
Incidentally, "The Nativity Story" will make history when it premiers at the Vatican. That hasn't happened before, as far as a feature film is concerned.
People, especially families, will want to go together to see this remarkable movie. Children will want to see it. Church members will go in groups. And yes, non- Christians will go out of curiosity. And how they will be rewarded, not just by a wonderful, dramatic, engaging movie, but one that tells the ultimate truth of what Christmas is all about.
I believe the movie is destined to become a Christmas classic. So move over "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Home Alone". You've got some real, make that real competition.
The movie is incredibly true to the authenticity of Scripture. Filmed in extraordinarily vivid color, it begins with a passage from Jeremiah. The rest of the movie references and quotes the Bible. The script was written by a Christian, Mike Rich, whose credits include "Finding Forrester". Costuming and settings are authentic. In short, it is a near perfect movie.
With all the fallout from fallen leaders and election turnabouts, Christians have an opportunity this year to put aside political agendas and really focus on what Christmas is all about. The distractions behind us. Let us not miss this wonderful, crucial opportunity to proclaim the birth of our Lord in the highways and byways, yes, even in the marketplace and the movies.
Dr. Ted Baehr is a critic, educator, lecturer and media pundit. He is founder and publisher of Movieguide and is chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission.