November 29, 2018
Merry Christmas, Galilee! We’re celebrating the birth of our Savior by re-watching a classic this month.
Jesus spoke in parables—earthly stories people could relate to that contained a surprising heavenly meaning. We see the same practice in the stories we tell again and again at Christmas, like the story told in Frank Capra’s film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
On the surface, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the story of a man facing material challenges. Money problems, really. Who among us cannot relate to that? But this is a movie that opens with prayer, so you know it’s not run of the mill Hollywood fodder.
George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) is an ordinary man who struggles with money and the evils of the world.
The story of ordinary guy George Bailey is also the extraordinary story of an angel earning his wings. And it’s a story about goodness, about godliness, about miracles large and small, and redemption. It’s not a stretch to talk about “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a kind of gospel story.
Though now considered one of the greatest movies ever made, “It’s a Wonderful Life” flopped when it first appeared in theaters in 1946. It didn’t help that the film, a Christmas story, was released in January! It wasn’t until decades later, when it became a staple on television, that critics acknowledged the film as a masterpiece.
Though plagued by despair and suicidal thoughts, George finds he was never alone.
Maybe you’ve watched it every year since you were a kid. Or maybe you’ve never seen it. Either way, we think you’ll enjoy and be enriched by our advent worship series examining the gospel message of “It’s Wonderful Life.” This is no ordinary movie, because it touches on important themes like doing good in the face of selfishness; embracing hope in the face of despair; finding joy in the midst hardship; and seeing how friends and community keep us strong while helping give meaning to life.
Ultimately, this is a story of gratitude to God, who gives us life. Not just ordinary life, either. Wonderful life!
Join us all month for the “It’s a Wonderful Life” worship series:
Dec 2 – “Be Well, Do Good” – Luke 1:68-79; James 3:13
Dec 9 – “Hopefulness” – Luke 3:1-6; Rom 5: 3-5
Dec 16 – “Prayer” – Philippians 4:4-7; Isaiah 12:2-6
Dec 23- “Miracles” – Luke 1:47-55
Dec 30 – “Wonderful Life” – New Year’s Stand Alone Sermon