“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
When I think of famous Christmas movies, I tend to think of Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, The Santa Claus, It’s a Wonderful Life, and numerous other ones. However, it wasn’t until this year that I actually watched It’s a Wonderful Life from start to finish. Of course I have seen bits and pieces through the years and my mom has conducted a Leadership Workshop based on the movie, so I have seen several clips and I knew the story. But I finally had the chance to spend a little time with George Bailey and get to know the real story behind It’s a Wonderful Life.
The story is set in the small town of Bedford Falls, NY. I would consider George an all around great guy, but he gives up his dreams of leaving the town so that he can stay in Bedford Falls after his father’s death to run the family’s Building and Loan Company. George is a rather selfless character. He’s always giving of himself, his finances, dreams, and wishes to take care of those around him, including the people of Bedford Falls. He gives and gives and gives until one night, he can’t give anymore and he’s left with a decision on whether or not to end his life. I don’t want to give the story away in case you haven’t watched it all the way through, but George’s selflessness pays off in the end and he is reminded what Christmas, community, faith, hope, and love are all about.
Any of us could be a George Bailey and it’s up to us to decide how we respond under pressure from outside circumstances when the world seems very bleak and hope cannot be found.
But just like the story of Christmas, hope is always there. It may have been a dark night in a small town in Bethlehem, in a little stable filled with noisy animals. But little did anyone know, our Lord and Savior would arrive and the bright star would shine over where He lay, leading the shepherds and later the Wise men to come worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. George Bailey held onto hope for as long as he could and when he was having trouble seeing it, God provided just what he needed. Friends, our Heavenly Father does the same for us today. Wishing you and your family a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!
King of Kings, we celebrate this most wonderful day of the year – Christmas Day. Help us to keep hope in our hearts all year long and to shine Your light, even on those days when life gets a little bleak. May we always remember that You are there with us, through it all. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.