It’s a Wonderful Life: Meaningful Community

Our everyday actions can make the world a better place. And when we share life with others, as God has called us to do, we can make a dramatic impact for him.

Program Transcript

Last week we talked about 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. This week 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 and years of trying to get out of town, George started to feel like 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 is what his name means: Emmanuel, God with us. Throughout his ministry Christ 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 round George to help him in his time of need. And with every familiar face we remember how George impacted their life. We see Mr. Martini come forward, the man who 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 that we realize that George didn't need to build skyscrapers, bridges, or train stations to change the world. He'd impacted the living, breathing community around him just by being him. By his everyday 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 Christmas 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 this beautiful celebration sharing in the joy of our new life of grace in Christ.

I'm Joseph Tkach, Speaking of a Wonderful LIFE.