What is your favorite Christmas movie? There are about as many Christmas movies out there as there are secret compartments in an Advent calendar. You could watch one a day for months leading up to Christmas! The iconic It’s a Wonderful Life consistently ranks among the top contenders for Best Christmas Movie Ever, and today you are invited to journey to Bedford Falls and discover the faith lessons found in It’s a Wonderful Life.
When George Bailey sidles up to Martini’s Bar on Christmas Eve, he’s at the lowest point of his life. In the span of only a few hours, he has:
(a) learned that the Bailey Building and Loan has lost eight thousand dollars just as the state’s bank examiner shows up;
(b) all but threatened to kill Uncle Billy, who has apparently lost the money;
(c) estranged himself from the people he loves most, Mary and the kids;
(d) heard from old man Potter that a warrant is out for his arrest; and
(e) had his desperate plea for a loan turned down by Potter, the man with whom his family has struggled for decades.
Against that backdrop, he’s had enough drinks to cause Martini’s assistant, Nick, to ask if he wants a ride home. An obviously concerned Martini will ask why George is drinking so much and encourage him to go home and spend Christmas Eve with his family.
But first, George does something he admits he does not want to do: he prays, “Dear Father in Heaven,” he begins. “I’m not a praying man, but if You’re up there, and You can hear me, show me the way. I’m at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God.”
An angel who happens to be listening to prayers of those in Bedford Falls knows that George will be standing on that snow-swept bridge at 10:45 p.m. and “thinking seriously of throwing away God’s greatest gift” — “Oh, dear, dear! His life!”
We’ve all been on that bridge of despair at some point in our lives. The answer isn’t looking down at the waters below, but looking up at the heavens above.
Excerpted with permission from 52 Little Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life by Bob Welch, copyright Thomas Nelson.
Merry Christmas!Until next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.