The Gospel According to Home Alone
In the movie, Home Alone, the young hero, Kevin, slips into a church as he prepares to defend his home from burglars. He barely sits in the pew before his eyes meet those of Old Man Marley—the “creepy” neighbor who has frightened him throughout the film. Marley approaches him and asks to sit down.
The man’s gentle voice surprises us all—especially Kevin. As he converses with Kevin, we realize that Marley is the opposite of scary. He is sad, lonely, and afraid. When Marley tells Kevin that he hasn’t spoken to his son in years, Kevin advises him to call his estranged family. Marley admits that he’s afraid of what his son might say.
“No offense, but aren’t you a little old to be afraid?” asks Kevin.
“You’re never too old to be afraid,” Marley replies.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion. Do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory. … (Zephaniah 3:16-17)
In a season where angels and prophets command us not to be afraid, the old man and the little boy remind us that we’re all afraid of something. Sitting side by side on a church pew, their salvation begins with a conversation. Kevin overcomes his fear of Marley. Marley overcomes his fear of calling his son. Kevin saves Marley from his loneliness. Marley will save Kevin from the burglars.
What do you fear?
Look around, and see the Savior in your midst. As Marley said, we’re never too old to be afraid. We’re also never too old to be saved from our fears.
This Advent season, let us be set free from fear and released to glorious hope!
all good things to each of you,
Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 9