How many times have we gone so accustomed to hearing the Christmas story, putting on live nativity plays, singing Christmas carols, that we forget what the Christmas story really is about? I know that we also become so immune to hearing that we have become too materialistic about Christmas, that all people think about is getting presents and nothing else. Many people have told me that they didn't plan on seeing "The Nativity Story" because they already knew the story, so what was the point? Well, they may think they know the story but they neither live nor show the respect for what the story truly is about.
One of my favorite movies when I was younger was Jesus of Nazareth. To me that was the definitive version of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. However even that movie doesn't really take you into their lives and what they had to go through.
The Nativity Story however makes you feel for these characters. Did you ever think about what Mary had to go through when she was told by the angel that she would be pregnant? Sure, she believed immediately, but think about the reactions other people including her parents would have had. You try telling your parents that you're pregnant because an angel said so especially when you're engaged to be married. I know that she trusted in God, but I appreciated the fact that she was still scared and unsure about what was going to happen. I liked the scene when she's praying to please let Elizabeth be pregnant so that Mary doesn't feel like she's gone nuts over everything.
I loved the guy that played Joseph. You knew he loved Mary from the beginning, and even though it was hard for him at first to accept her story, he believed it wholeheartedly. The scene where the lady at the market says what a joy it will be to see your face in your baby was very moving. Mary grabbing Joseph's hand to reassure him because he knew this wouldn't be the case.
My one nitpicking moment was when Jesus was actually born. I know all about movie births, but Jesus didn't have an umbilical cord! Ironic? Hah. But the rest of the scene, I was moved. Mary actually experiences pain, the baby doesn't just magically deflate out of her body. I think that too often we don't think about that and make his birth to be a clean, magical event. I started to cry then, and it continued when the shepherds and wise men showed up. This movie made me really appreciate the holiday more. I felt it was biblically accurate and very very spiritual. How many times do you see a major motion picture continually have scripture in it? I loved the music played during the film, especially "O Come O Come Emmanuel" in the beginning.
I really wish more people would go see this movie. I don't understand why more people who claim to be Christians will go see a movie filled with sex, harsh language and gore than see a movie that explains what the meaning of Christianity really is about. I don't understand why the same people who go take their 5 year old to see the R-rated Passion of the Christ (great movie, not knocking it down) will not take them to see this movie. It's a sad world that we live in when Christians refuse to support their own beliefs.