How Will Ferrell Gave Me Doctrinal Perspective

I’ve wondered for years why most Christmas music makes my skin crawl.  Then yesterday, in church, as we were singing, “Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ the newborn King,” this quote from Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby popped into my head.

Ricky: Dear Tiny, Infant, Jesus…
Carley: Hey, um, sweetie, Jesus did grow up. You don’t always have to call him baby. It’s a bit odd and off-puttin’ to pray to a baby.
Ricky: Look, I like the Christmas Jesus best . . .

It was sad in a funny sort of a way in a secular movie (that I’m not necessarily endorsing, by the way) but it’s just sad in the church.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t worship a newborn baby.

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About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

5 responses to “How Will Ferrell Gave Me Doctrinal Perspective

  • Jonathan

    I love you and will wait to see the comments come forth.

  • suzanne

    So are you saying that you don’t like the Christmas carols (which is fine, it’s just a questions, not a question with an attitude!)? Because since I’ve spent two, almost three, Christmases with a baby it has really made me have even more awe for Jesus. The King of Glory, whose home was in Heaven, left his throne to become a little baby (eventually a man, of course) who probably spit up on himself, couldn’t sit up, and cried just like my babies. Looking in the face of my current baby and thinking that this is how my Lord started life is a real sobering thought. He really does understand everything we’ve been through because he’s been through it, too. I think that when we think of Jesus the grown man, going around doing miracles, we forget that he had 30 years of life before that. Thinking of him as a baby and a small child really does make him a more approachable God, in my opinion.

  • suzanne

    (Sorry for the multiple comments!)

    Here’s my other thought: If you had been there, as the Magi were, you would have worshiped a newborn baby. No, he’s no longer a newborn baby. Praise the Lord He’s the risen King! But to take the importance of the baby out of the equation (when two Gospel writers thought it important) somehow diminishes His humanity.

    OK, I think I’m done now. At least if I come up with more to say I’ll just say it in person.

  • melissa

    I am not answering FOR Coralie – she is always very good at doing that herself, but if I were to answer the questions raised above, I would say that we could never deny, or cease to wonder at the blessing of the incarnation – at any stage of Christ’s development as a human. The problem arises at exactly the point of the Will Farel quote above. He is no longer a baby – so to pray to him or worship him as such would be akin to your mother tickling you under the chin and offering to change your diaper at your next visit. It wasn’t inappropriate when you were a baby, but you aren’t anymore, so it becomes inappropriate. Christ, in his exaltation is now someone. Someone who is not a baby. When we come to worship we may not think of him in any way that he is not – that is idolatry. We may remember that he was a child, we may not worship him as a child.

  • Roberta

    Cor, while you may have a valid general point, I think that you’re taking that line out of the context of the carol. It seems to me that the ‘worship Christ the newborn king’ can only be interpreted as you have here in the final verse, and even there the rest of the verse speaks of the Lord returning, not the infant Christ, so it’s a stretch. The first 3 stanzas are directed explicitly to the angels, shepherds, and wisemen.

    “Angels from the realms of glory,
    Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
    Ye who sang creation’s story,
    Now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
    Come and worship,
    Come and worship,
    Worship Christ, the newborn King!

    Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
    Watching o’er your flocks by night,
    God with man is now residing,
    Yonder shines the infant Light;
    Come and worship,
    Come and worship,
    Worship Christ, the newborn King!

    Sages, leave your contemplations,
    Brighter visions beam afar;
    Seek the great desire of nations,
    Ye have seen His natal star;
    Come and worship,
    Come and worship,
    Worship Christ, the newborn King!

    Saints before the altar bending,
    Watching long in hope and fear,
    Suddenly the Lord, descending,
    In His temple shall appear:
    Come and worship,
    Come and worship,
    Worship Christ, the newborn King!”

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