Forget your Blue Peter Christmas coat hanger advent crown, or the arrival of Christmas cups in Costa Coffee! The real sign that the countdown to Christmas has begun is the unveiling of the John Lewis epic advert, the one that all others are measured against.
My favourite advert so far this year is the Amazon one – with singing cardboard boxes dumped round the living room. This is an interior design style I feel I can achieve – “jumble sale chic” or “recycling bin vibes” is a look we love!
So it was with baited breath that I watched the John Lewis advert on YouTube on release day – “Stop it! I’m not crying, you are!” as we pressed the rewind button through Elton John’s life. Enduring songs, sell out concerts, adoring fans, crazy outfits, more hair, less hair, bling glasses… all the way back to a little boy in a living room, receiving the gift that would change his life – a piano.
Love it? Hate it? Super-cynical about it? I think I feel all those things. It does pull at the heart strings to see the pyjama clad little boy receive a life transforming gift, but then the mum in me panics: “Why did we stop keyboard lessons? I’ve cut their career options already!” The cynic wonders why Elton John gets paid to advertise himself ahead of his Biopic Movie next year and then checks online to discover that a John Lewis piano costs £872. Nevertheless, it’s a gripping story; a gift that transforms a little boy’s life.
Well, seeing as it’s the season for fuzzy life rewinds, I imagine playing back my own life story (with a less impressive budget). Family Christmases of stockings made from old tan tights, dodgy hair dos, the year of nit lotion on Christmas eve, back past the year I received my Raleigh Shopper bike, the glow worm that lit up when you squeezed it, back past the maroon velour frilled tracksuit and rainbow tiered skirt … all the way back to a cute 4 year old with big cheeks and a sensible fringe, whose eyes lit up with wonder as she saw the gift that would change her life – understanding for the first time that Jesus came to be HER Saviour.
The Boy and a Piano – an individual gift that delivered worldwide fame and earthly riches
The Girl and a Saviour – a worldwide gift that delivers personal peace and eternal riches.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.” 2 Corinthians 9:15
How you respond to the John Lewis Christmas advert doesn’t really matter. How you respond to God’s gift of a Saviour really does!