A Wonderful Life

December has finally arrived, which means it’s almost time for the annual showing of my favorite Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.

Through the magic of re-runs (or a trip to the Holiday Film Series at the Alabama Theater), we can all make a visit back to the black-and-white world of Bedford Falls and experience a snowy Christmas Eve with George and Mary Bailey, Clarence the angel, and Bert and Ernie. (Rumor has it that the Sesame Street characters got their names from the movie’s characters.)
What makes that movie so popular is still a mystery. When it was originally released in 1946 it was considered a box-office flop. It wasn’t popular with audiences or with critics. It did get five Academy Award nominations but won none. And yet 63 years later it is considered a holiday classic.
There’s a simple theme of It’s a Wonderful Lifethat is consistent from first to last. Clarence sums it up perfectly in these words: “Each man’s life touches so many other lives, and when he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole.”
How true that is. George Bailey got to find out the hard way. Many of us often wonder what life would have been (or would be) like without us around. But the fact is, we arearound. For a reason. And God has called us to touch the lives of those around us. When we miss out on touching others, we too “leave an awful hole.”
That’s such a wonderful picture of Biblical community. Each of us are interconnected in so many ways, that if we are not around, we truly are missed. Whether we are reaching out to the lost and hurting of our world, or encouraging and exhorting our brothers and sisters in Christ, God has given each of us opportunities to impact the lives of hundreds around us.
The question is, in what way are we impacting them? Let us not miss the “divine appointments” God sets for us this Christmas season to reach out and touch someone with the love and life of Jesus. It might not make bells ring (or angels get their wings), but it sure will honor the One who came to give us “a wonderful life.”
I trust you’ll have a blessed weekend. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we celebrate Jesus together.
–Pastor Ken