It’s A Wonderful Life:
“A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”
Psalm 34:19-20 (NIV UK)
Last time we focused on the importance God places on each of our lives. To him we are a great creation, and in our fellowship with Christ he is well pleased. Today I’d like to continue our look at It’s a Wonderful Life and unpack how George Bailey’s life became truly wonderful.
Throughout the film George dreamed about building skyscrapers and bridges. He wanted to get out of Bedford Falls and change the world around him, but somehow every time he tried to chase those goals he hit a wall. And after years of trying to get away George began to feel a failure. He’d lost sight of the most important lesson we can ever learn: that we’re created by God to live in relationship with him and with those around us.
That’s what Christ’s name means: Emmanuel, God with us. Throughout his ministry Jesus lived among others, joining them in their struggles and triumphs. And that’s how we’re called to live as well, not as solitary, isolated people dedicated to chasing goals that will fade after we’re gone. Instead God wants us to join with him in his redemptive ministry to this world, bringing many sons and daughters to his glory.
As the movie reaches its climax the community of Bedford Falls gathers around George to help him in his time of need. And with every familiar face we remember how George impacted their lives. We see Mr. Martini come forward, the man whom George helped move into a beautiful house. We see Mr. Gower, George’s first employer, and even brother Harry Bailey, whose life George saved at the very start of the movie.
That’s the moment when we realise that George didn’t need to build skyscrapers, bridges, or railway stations to change the world. He’d impacted the living, breathing community around him just by being him. By his every-day actions George Bailey made the world a better place.
The movie ends with a close-up on the book Clarence gifted to George. On the title page Clarence sums up this lesson well: “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.” This Easter season I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the miracle of God’s relationship with us and with his people. And I encourage you to invite others to join in the beautiful celebration sharing in the joy of our new life of grace in Christ.
Magnificent Father. Help us in our quest to abandon our goals for greatness. You have given us greatness by your involvement with us. May we wholeheartedly pursue your goals for us, rather than our own, and be content with your future for us. This we pray with grateful thanks, in Jesus’ name.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.