“Hello, I’m calling from Paris. I have a son who is home alone.” Many of us know where this is from, the Christmas classic Home Alone. The tale of Kevin McAllister, how he was left behind and threatened by two burglars, is one of my favorites. As a matter of fact, this year is the first Christmas season that my kids have seen Home Alone and they are obsessed. I mean, what’s not to like? An eight-year-old left to do whatever he wants outsmarts two grown-ups. Definitely a kid favorite.
What I have come to appreciate more about this holiday classic are the deeper themes. I realize that I can read too deeply into things—hear me out. Kevin McAllister is a smart-mouthed, disrespectful child who is despised by his siblings and dances on his parents’ last nerves. He gets in a fight at dinner and is told to go to his room for the night which is in the attic.
Realizing what he actually deserved, Kevin tries to make amends at the last minute and is told, “I’m sorry, it’s too late.” Kevin’s mother explains that because he has made so much trouble, he now has to go to bed. Kevin’s response is that he wishes to never see them again. The next morning, the family forgets about Kevin only to realize what has happened in a plane flying over the Atlantic. Kevin’s mother becomes relentless in her efforts to get back to her son for Christmas.
For me, this paints a picture of the Gospel. We are Kevin McAllister. We are born smart-mouthed, disrespectful kids who will always chose our own way over God’s. While we were God’s enemy, he gave up everything to come back for us. Kevin did NOT earn his mother’s grace but because of her deep love she walks through the front door and embraces her son.
When I think about the love God has for all of us, even through our abject failure, it is incredibly powerful and humbling. Christmas is when we celebrate the culmination of years of promise and eternal reconciliation with our Father. In John 15:9 Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” Let the story of Kevin McAllister remind you of the undeserving grace and love of your heavenly Father this Christmas season.