If you watched a movie that included an immaculate conception, a light in the sky and the date December 25th would you conclude that it was a telling of the Christmas story? Well, yes, maybe, and no.
Yes, Mary’s virgin pregnancy and birth happened though it is difficult to imagine how it could be despite what Star Wars canon says on the topic of virgin births.
Maybe, the light that shone in the darkness to light the way for us was a comet in our atmosphere, or it might have been planets conspiring with one another to light up the sky for poor, beat up Earth or the Shekinah, the glory and divine presence of God hovering over the birth place of His Son, our Savior, Jesus.
No, the birth of Jesus most likely took place in the spring when sheep were being tended and sold for sacrifices at the Temple. It is believed that Christmas was celebrated in the winter to piggyback on the festival celebrating the Roman goddess of agriculture, Saturn (although there aren’t any notarized documents proving Saturn was born on December 25th either). Church leaders thought it would be easier to convert pagans to Christ if they shared a same-date holiday.
Wait, were we talking about a movie? Yes, a movie called Anomaly (2014), a parallel-universe telling of the Christmas story. It stars Christian Cooke (the astronaut), Lexi Johnson (the love interest), Andrew Sensenig (an award winning scientist), and Anthony Lopez (local astronomer).
It begins in the 1960s with the voice of President Kennedy announcing, “ First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”
The movie centers around four people:
—a scientist who predicts the comet would visit Earth, but unknown as to when. He is celebrated with awards but lives to see the deaths of his wife and the baby she was carrying. His life loses meaning and wishes to spend his remaining days in grief.
—the astronomer who spends all his effort searching for this comet. He finds it but is surprised it is only a few days out in space.
—a female photographer who meets the astronaut on the beach and become romantically involved, but not TOO involved.
—the astronaut who has been chosen to lead his nation into space and deliver an important payload into orbit. He is ultimately torn between his love for the woman and his duty to country.
Those are the people. The movie comes to a conclusion that leaves a profound mark on these four characters but ultimately on the rest of the world as well. Anomaly ends with a satisfied ‘huh, OK, that was kind of cool’ but don’t expect Christmas story parallels every inch of the film though there may be more than I caught on to. As with most ‘thinky’ movies, it isn’t fast paced but that’s not to say it doesn’t keep your interest. Its run time is 47 minutes so you could easily watch it while eating a bag of potato chips and still have some left over for lunch the next day. You can find it on Amazon Prime but is also available on the internet. I give this movie 4 angel choirs out of 5.