By Pastor Nathan Richardson, Heartland Community Church

It is now December, which means the Christmas season has arrived. My favorite things about Christmas are egg nog, Christmas parties and Christmas movies. During the month of December in this article and at Heartland Community Church we will be looking at a different Christmas movie each week.One of my favorite Christmas movies and probably yours as well is A Christmas Story.

When I watch it I cannot help but see the story of hope. Ralphie, the main character in the story is a young blonde kid filled with hope. He has the hope that his parents are going to buy him a Red Ryder BB Gun. He brings his hopeful request to his mother. She responds, “You will shoot your eye out.” He even writes a school paper on his deepest desire for the toy. He receives a C+ on the paper and the teacher tells him, “You will shoot your eye out.”

As Ralphie lies in bed one night he is trying to figure out how he will make this dream come true. It comes to him to take the request to Santa. So Ralphie becomes anxious about telling Santa about his hope. He arrives at the mall and realizes he has a long way to wait in the line for Santa. This however does not destroy his hope. He waits and waits and the time arrives where Ralphie sits on Santa’s lap and he is speechless. He does not know what to say. Santa tries to get it out of him. Still nothing. Santa asks, “Would you like a football? Ralphie shakes his head yes in agreement. The elf puts Ralphie on the slide and as he starts to go down, Ralphie stops himself and starts to crawl up the slide. He yells “NO, I want a Red Ryder BB Gun.” Santa responds, “You will shoot your eye out kid.”

Ralphie’s mom, teacher and Santa are what I consider Killers of Hope. We all have them in our lives. We cannot let Killers of Hope get the best of us.

In Isaiah, the Israelites were going through a rough time, however held onto hope. They had hope that a Savior was coming into the world, that he would rescue and restore them to where they should be. God, the Father was looking to give them this longing but it was not yet the right time. But it would not be long…

Ralphie was defeated; he had opened up all his gifts and his Father asked him if he had received everything he wanted. Ralphie responds, “kind of” but the disappointment was obvious. His Father tells him to go look behind the desk. Ralphie goes over, pulls out the box, unwraps it and it is the Red Ryder BB Gun. He is ecstatic and asks if he can go outside to use it.

The one person he never asks for the toy, his Father, is the one person who gives him the gift. His Father wants to give him the things to fulfill his hopes and dreams. Granted Ralphie does break his glasses and fulfills the “you will shoot your eye out.” Why is it that we can always go to God the Father with all our hopes and requests but it is usually the last place we go?