I’d like to continue looking at It’s a Wonderful Life and unpack what the film has to say on about the impact an individual life can have on the world.
You remember George Bailey, the hero of the movie. He grew up in Bedford Falls, and based on his influence, you might even say he was one of the town pillars. Somebody you could always rely on if you were ever in trouble. George knew everybody and everybody knew George. And while he lived a life that he never considered extraordinary by any stretch of the imagination, just by simply living, he managed to positively impact almost every single person in town. However near the end of the movie, it’s George who needs a little help. When Uncle Billy misplaces an $8,000 dollar deposit, George is held personally responsible. And if he can’t come up with the missing money, it’ll mean some very serious jail time for him.
Out of options and with the darkness closing around him, George comes to the realization that he’s worth more to his family dead than alive. He confesses all this to his Guardian Angel, the loveable Clarence Oddbody.
George finally gets to a place where he wishes that he’d never been born. He wants to throw away one of God’s greatest gifts – he wants to end his life. And, that’s when Clarence has an idea that changes everything. Through a supernatural twist, Clarence allows George to see what the world would be like without him in it. And what he experiences is truly terrifying. His family is shattered, his hometown is almost unrecognizable and his friends have been transformed into his enemies.
As he spirals out of control, Clarence reveals the true lesson behind the transformation. That each life is important to God and has a lasting impact on those around him.
For us, as Christians, we know everything can change with a single life. Through the miracle of the incarnation, Christ turned the entire world upside-down. His individual life changed the course of humanity once and for all. And with every interaction, with every relationship formed while on his earthly ministry, Jesus impacted the lives of those he touched.
Later, with his death and resurrection, his single life and his single sacrifice, he changed everything again, atoning for our sins and bringing us back into right relationship with the father. By the end of the movie, George comes to see how valuable his wonderful life really is. And it’s a lesson we can remember this Christmas season. As we move closer to celebrating our Savior’s birth, let’s remember that through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can all share in the wonderful and abundant life that he offers us.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of a Wonderful LIFE.