Celebrate Christmas in July with these Unexpected Movies on Justice

When the summer temperatures soar, it’s the perfect time to turn your mind to cold winter days with a Christmas in July celebration!

One easy way to get in the winter spirit is by watching Christmas movie classics – and a surprising number of them focus on justice! Consider hosting a weekly Movie Night this July to showcase four Christmas movies on justice.

These family-friendly movies can be great conversation starters and will work subtly on your heart to pursue justice for the vulnerable. Schedule some movie dates today!

Here are our top 4 Christmas movies on justice

(with 1 honorable mention):

1. A Christmas Carol

We’ve highlighted the justice lessons of this movie in both this blog post and this one. This classic story by Charles Dickens illustrates with striking characters how generous justice leads to joy, and greed and injustice lead to misery. While many versions have been created, this post can help you choose the best one to watch.

2. It’s a Wonderful Life

When I attended Wheaton College, there was a community-wide viewing of this movie every year, complete with loud boos when the infamous Mr. Potter came on the screen, and loud cheers when George realized the infinite value of a life well-lived at the end. That noisy context highlighted the stark contrast between good/evil, and justice/injustice, throughout the movie. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that what is right and fair is simple enough for a child to see—it’s pursuing justice and righteousness that are the real challenge. So, watch with a group and cheer when good defeats evil, and right triumphs over wrong. And may those loud expressions work on your heart, so you seek justice and righteousness. Find more powerful lessons on this movie here.

3. The Miracle on 34th Street

We’ve written before on the lessons from this movie, but the surprising justice lesson is that when we do what is just, there is great reward. Mr. Macy learns this when Kringle directs customers to other stores to find what they want, and it has the effect of more people shopping at Macy’s. When we put the needs of others before our own, we find blessing–that’s how God created the world. If the blessing seems to tarry – wait for it! God’s perfect kingdom of justice and righteousness is coming soon. As you wait, be like jolly old St. Nicholas in this movie, and love your neighbor as yourself.

4. The Nativity Story

You know the biblical account of Jesus’s birth and this movie dramatizes it powerfully. But what does it have to do with justice? First, The Nativity Story reminds us that in God’s kingdom, it is the weak who are strong. God used a young, poor, teenage girl to bear the God of the Universe. It is a perfect picture of how God raises up the lowly. Second, it reminds us that unjust rulers like Herod cannot thwart God’s purposes or stop his kingdom. And finally, it reminds us that God sent Jesus to bear our just punishment so we might be free. The justice of God is met by the mercy of God – may we be willing, like Jesus, to suffer for the sake of others. And may God get the glory! You can find more lessons from this film in a previous post on this movie.

In case you want one more option, we’ve written a blog post on our Honorable Mention: The Santa Clause.

Invite a group of friends or gather your family together, to watch these great Christmas movies with justice themes!

About Emily O'Donnell

Senior Director of Engagement. Emily has a strong commitment to the local church after serving as a pastor's wife for 20 years. It is her joy to introduce church leaders to AJ's model so they can lead their congregation in seeking justice in their community. She enjoys hiking, cooking with her teenagers, and reading voraciously.