John Lewis is a chain of up-market department stores operating throughout Great Britain. The chain is known for their heart warming commercials. One of their Christmas themed commercials featured a little boy and his pet penguin named Monty. The little boy does everything with his pet penguin: watches television, plays hide-and-seek, jumps on the trampoline, plays under a makeshift tent in the dining room, and takes a walk in the park. As Christmas approaches, the little boy and Monty are watching an old movie with the boy’s parents. Monty is transfixed on the TV screen as a husband and wife kiss on TV. Later, when the little boy and Monty are sliding down a snow-covered hillside, Monty stops and is mesmerized by the sight of a couple walking arm in arm and gazing into each other’s eyes. And on a bus ride home, the little boy sees Monty gazing out of the window at an elderly couple tenderly embracing on a park bench.
On Christmas morning, the little boy wakes Monty who has been sleeping at the end of his bed. He covers Monty’s eyes as they walk into the room where the Christmas tree stands. The little boy removes his hands and Monty sees that for which he has been longing: a female penguin with which he immediately falls in love. As the little boy’s mother walks into the room, she smiles as she sees her son playing with two stuffed penguins; a brand new one along with one that is weathered and worn because of use, whose name is Monty. The tagline of the commercial says give someone the Christmas they have been dreaming about. Even a little boy understands that we all need to have someone to love and to have that love reciprocated. That someone also needs to be someone with whom we can relate – whether it’s a fellow penguin or a fellow person.
That’s the beauty of the Gospel message: God loves us so much that He came down to us and became “one of us” in the person of Jesus, His Son. “For this reason, He had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). God became “one of us” to demonstrate His love for us by identifying with us and then by dying for us so that we might be saved from our sins and receive the GIFT of eternal life (Romans 6:23).