John Krasinski became famous for his role in the TV sitcom The Office and for his work as the lead actor in the Amazon spy thriller series Jack Ryan. He is married to the famed actress Emily Blunt, with whom he has two daughters.
But he has become famous during the pandemic for another reason: his occasional video series, Some Good News. Episodes are both satirical and inspirational. He has featured the cast of Hamilton singing to a small girl who wanted to see the play but could not because of the quarantine. Episodes have included Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Martha Stewart. He has featured Robert DeNiro and George Clooney reporting on the weather (they look around outside and tell him what they are seeing).
But his Christmas video above might be the most inspirational yet.
Krasinski interviews a man whose wife died three years ago. This father has struggled to find work but wants to give his two children (ages eleven and eight) a better Christmas. So, he decided to sell his entire comic book memorabilia collection on eBay to raise funds for them. His collectibles were very important to him, but Christmas for his children mattered more.
He tweeted Dwayne Johnson (known as “the Rock”), asking him to retweet the message that he was selling his collection. Johnson then joined Krasinski’s interview with the father, where he told him that he was buying his children everything they requested for Christmas. He invited the father and his family to visit him in Southern California after the pandemic is over.
Then Johnson and Krasinski stated that they were partnering with FedEx to donate $5 million to Toys for Tots so other families in need could have gifts for Christmas.
Our family’s Christmas Eve tradition
Christmas Eve brings its own traditions. My parents allowed my brother and me to open one present before bedtime, but they selected it (lest we open our “big” present too early). We did the same with our sons.
There is a certain humility in receiving what we did not earn or purchase. Like the father in Krasinski’s video, we must admit what we do not have and choose to accept gifts from others.
This is the way of all gift-giving: we cannot give to others what they will not humble themselves enough to receive. What is true of toys for children is also true of salvation for souls.
Our omnipotent Lord chooses to honor the freedom he has given to us. As a result, his Spirit convicts us of our sins, but we must choose to repent (Acts 3:19). Our Father offers us grace that forgives all we confess, but we must confess (1 John 1:9). He will lead us in his perfect will, but we must follow (Romans 12:2). We are “more than conquerors through him who loved us,” but we must accept his love (Romans 8:37).
The humility of Christmas is our best response to the humility of Christ.
Paul explained the first Christmas this way: Our Savior “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6–7). After Jesus chose such a humble birth, he chose an even more humble death: “Being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (v. 8).
Now, because the Father “has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every other name” (v. 9), we must respond to his humble love with our humble worship: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (vv. 10–11).
Your path to “spiritual regeneration and eventual greatness”
Today is a wonderful day to choose the humility of Christmas.
In his deeply reflective book, Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ, Timothy Keller notes: “There has never been a gift offered that makes you swallow your pride to the depths that the gift of Jesus Christ requires us to do. Christmas means that we are so lost, so unable to save ourselves, that nothing less than the death of the Son of God himself could save us.”
As a result, “To accept the true Christmas gift, you have to admit you’re a sinner. You need to be saved by grace. You need to give up control of your life. That is descending lower than any of us really wants to go. Yet Jesus Christ’s greatness is seen in how far down he came to save us. Your spiritual regeneration and eventual greatness will be achieved by going down the same path. He descended into greatness, and the Bible says it’s only through repentance that you come into his light.”
Have you humbly asked your Savior for the gift of salvation? If you have not, I sincerely invite you to come to the One who was born so that you could be born again to eternal life. (For more, please see my website paper, Why Jesus?)
If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, will you humble yourself before him as your King? Will you give yourself fully to the One who gave himself fully for you?
The gift Jesus wants for his birthday is you.