By Pastor Nathan Richardson, Heartland Community Church

For the love of his family

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation sets one of the most complex but still normal family situations that any movie family has ever experienced. Clark Griswold is the father of this family and he has set his expectations very high for this Christmas season. He has a goal of hosting both sides of family for the holidays because he has always wanted to experience a big family Christmas.

He goes all out with the lights. He worked tirelessly to make sure everything was perfect, when everything was far from it. He stresses himself out as well as the rest of the family because of the hope he has to make it a perfect Christmas. Eventually, after days of struggle he finally gets all the lights to work. He does this all for the love of his family.

He is also planning on receiving a big Christmas bonus as he has received one every other year. He has already put down a payment in advance for the pool, but needs the bonus so his check does not bounce. He does this all for the love of his family.

His wife’s cousin arrived unexpectedly and adds to the chaos of hosting a Christmas. Clark finds out that the cousins’ children will not receive anything for Christmas due to them not having any money. Clark volunteers to help out in order for the children to experience a good Christmas. He again does this all for the love of his family.

On Christmas Eve, Clark receives a registered letter in the mail from his company. It is his Christmas bonus. He reveals to his family his plan for the pool. Then he opens the envelope to find out that it is a year-long membership to the jelly of the month club. Clark is furious and loses his cool (probably something similar to the way you and I might respond as well.)

The movie does not end in disaster. Cousin Eddie kidnaps Clark’s boss and brings him back to the house. The boss eventually apologizes and gives Clark a 20% increase on his Christmas bonus from last year. Cousin Eddie might not be able to buy an extravagant gift, but he does this for the love of his family.

During this time of year I am compelled to think about the Love of my Father in Heaven. He loves us. He created us. He sent his Son to the earth to serve, to give his life as a ransom, and to redeem us. He then revealed his power, defeated death and sin so we might be able to spend eternity with the Father in heaven. He then sent the Holy Spirit to be our counselor and guide. He never left us and will be with us through it all.

The Love of a Father is amazing and he did this all for the love of his family…