Home Alone and Jesus

Keep the change, you filthy animal! 

Well, it may be so that Kevin McAlister is a cheapskate, but he's no slouch when it comes to defending his home.  However, as witty, keen, and surprising as this 8-year old kid seems to be, in the end, he still needs an unsuspecting friend to bail him out of trouble.

Home Alone is hilarious!  What's great, is its also kid friendly.  Its definitely a must on the Christmas movie viewing list at my house every December.  In the midst of the hilarity, I must admit that there's a beautiful message, and it was easy to overlook when I was a kid laughing hysterically at Joe Pesci getting shot by a BB Gun in the groin.  This is the same reason why now, I like to stop and draw attention to it for my kids to see when they've got tears in their eyes from Daniel Stern screaming with the tarantula on his face.

I'm fairly certain the writer's of Home Alone weren't intending this, so please understand that I'm not stating that this movie has Christian undertones or values.  About as close as it gets is Kevin praying before he consumes macaroni and cheese, and the scene where he visits a church and is told that "this is the place to be if you're feeling bad about yourself".  However, I believe that one of the most forgotten, yet warm and sentimental storylines of the movie can easily be used illustrate the need for God and the beauty of forgiveness.

Old Man Marley is Kevin's creepy-looking neighbor that is supposedly a crazy old murderer.  Kevin's older brother Buzz tells him that Old Man Marley scrapes sidewalks and salts the streets as a cover for keeping his "victims" preserved with the salt.  He paints this picture of the old man that turns out to be completely misleading by the end of the movie.  However, because of this picture Buzz imprints into Kevin's mind, Kevin runs in terror at the site of Old Man Marley.  And yes, admittedly it is kinda freaky when he slams his bloody and bandaged hand down on a store counter next to Kevin. 

Nonetheless, Old Man Marley turns out to be a warm soul and the deuteragonist to the young hero.

If you haven't seen the film (caution spoiler alert!) or you've forgotten, Old Man Marley eventually befriends Kevin.  Not only that, when Kevin is caught by the 2 dangerously goofy burglars, Old Man Marley comes to his rescue by knocking them both out cold and getting him safely home.

When it comes to Jesus, there are those folks who've completely made up their minds about Him before truly getting to know Him.  Many people take the word of others, which is most of the time completely misleading, instead of truly getting to understand the Savior that we celebrate during the season of Advent.  In addition to that, believers and unbelievers alike often attempt to navigate the obstacles of this world in their own strength, rather than acknowledging a need for God.

Kevin had already made up his mind about Old Man Marley.  Instead of asking this neighbor for help with 2 dangerous criminals planning to rob his house, he went at it alone....which makes for a more marketable and entertaining movie.  I mean, it is supposed to be Home ALONE!  Kevin did a pretty good job by himself, but in the end, he still needed help.  He could not overcome the trouble all alone.  We often attempt problems without God.  Some of us do it because we're stubborn Christians that forget to rely on our Savior.  Some do it because they've already made up their minds about Christ and they believe something untrue.  However, if we would look past our own stubborn ways and look to the truth, we'd find that we have a big God that it able to overcome big obstacles.  We're in need of Him!  And what a blessing it is to have Him in our corner!

We have escaped like a bird from the hunter’s trap. The trap has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
 Psalm 124:7-8

Another great moment that we can make a spiritual connection to is the act of forgiveness that we see played out in the movie.  Kevin obviously forgives his mother and family for leaving him at home.  He shows his forgiveness by giving his mom a giant hug at the end of the movie.  Also seen in the movie is Old Man Marley mending his relationship with his son.  An important scene to have your kids listen to is the scene when Old Man Marley is talking to Kevin in the church.  The old man talks about not being welcome at church, to which Kevin replies "you're always welcome at church".  However, the old man claims to not be welcome because his son also goes to the church.  At some point, he and his son had a falling out and they had not forgiven one another.  Now, he has to sneak into a choir practice just to see his granddaughter sing.

Old Man Marley admits that his hesitation to forgive and ask for forgiveness is based on fear.  Kevin says, "no offense, but aren't you a little old to be afraid?".  In reality, we often don't practice forgiveness, giving it or asking for it, because of fear.  This fear is often rooted in pride, but its fear all the way!

Fortunately, a beautiful moment is seen at the end of the movie when Old Man Marley is hugging his granddaughter on Christmas morning.  His son and family are visiting, implying that the way of forgiveness had been opened.

I'm thankful for a God that forgives.  Through Christ's arrival, life, death, and resurrection, He created a redemption plan for mankind.  It starts with forgiveness.  We have to get over ourselves, our pride and fear, admit our need for Him and simply ask for forgiveness.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
1 John 1:9