The Nativity Story is truly an excellent movie to watch, period. Most especially during the Christmas season. It is not a perfect movie. A few rearrangements of events took place,as to how I understood them to have occured - the timing and place of Mary telling Joseph of her conception comes to mind. A few other sequence of events provoked thought; never occured to me as to how Mary felt when she was betrothed to Joseph. I guess I assumed she wanted to marry him and loved him. That may not necessarily be true, and the movie shows her lack of desire and happiness with the arrangement. There were a few moments with Mary that had me thinking, "wait a minute, that's not right." But really, it could have been right. The reality is, Mary was a young girl and just like me and you she was flawed. I hold Mary in high regard, so, I never considered much that she too carried sins in her life. While she had fabulous qualities, she was flawed. The movie did a good job, subtly, to bring this to focus, that was good. God uses flawed people in amazing and glorious ways. It serves me well to remember this. God used Mary and Jospeh in the most absolute most amazing way.
We focus so much attention on Mary's amazing belief and willingness to do God's will without question or complaint that Joseph is sort of left in the dust. That's a shame. I do admire Mary greatly, and I appreciated Joseph, but I've not given him much consideration. While hardly anything is written about Joseph,his life is of great importance too. He played a unique role in the earthly life of Jesus. That is the part that I love so much about this movie; bringing Joseph's unique contributions to the forefront. Based on his actions, lack of action, and the times of the day - Joseph was a man of integrity. I appreciated Joseph before, but I now have a deeper appreciation and admiration.
The Nativity Story does not gloss over the harshness of life; Jewish people living in rough conditions under the cruel authority of Herod. For this reason, I recommend that parents use discretion. It probably is not the best suited movie for a six year old to watch, but I did allow my six and nine year old to view this movie with us. There were a few intense moments; Grace was a bit worried at times, but that was fleeting. Overall, viewing this movie for her and Isaiah was a good thing, and most definitely a good thing for the teenagers of this house. This movie made an impact, far more concretely than other Christmas movies, regarding the absolute beautiful and glorious reason for Christmas - the birth of Christ. Watching that scene - Christ's birth - impacted me with the complete and utter awesomeness of Christmas. What an amazing moment for Mary and Jospeh, I cannot even fathom.
We watch many movies during our advent season; every year the same ones. They are all good, but The Nativity Story will now be our priority movie every Advent. It truly did a fabulous job depicting the reason for celebrating Christmas.
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