I love Christmas movies and “It’s A Wonderful Life” directed by Frank Capra in 1946 is by far my favorite. The nostalgia, the storytelling, the characters, and the message of the movie never fail to leave me feeling warm and fuzzy inside. I’ve seen it time and time again and it never gets old.
The story takes us through George Bailey’s life and shows us just how many lives he has touched. When he gets the chance to see what life would be like had he never been born he realizes that life is, indeed, wonderful.
But what is it that makes his life so wonderful? Is it so wonderful because George had many friends? Or is it because he touched many lives? Certainly these things helped to make his life full and wonderful. But the truth of why life is so precious is uttered in the very first moments of the movie:
Senior Angel: A man down on earth needs our help.
Clarence: Splendid. Is he sick?
Senior Angel: No worse. He’s discouraged. At exactly 10:45 pm earth time, that man will be thinking seriously about throwing away God’s greatest gift.
Clarence: Oh, dear, dear. His life.*
God’s greatest gift is life itself. Our Creator gave each of us life. Not by chance. Not by accident. God created each one of us with love and with purpose.
“For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13-14
God creates each of us within the womb. Life is wonderful because we are wonderfully made by God Himself!
Not only does this amazing gift of life given to us by the Father refer to our own lives. No. For our own lives in and of themselves would end in nothingness. But our lives do not end at death. God’s gift of life goes beyond our creation in the womb. God gave us the gift of life in His Son, Jesus Christ our Savior!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3:16
Through the mystery of the Holy Trinity, God gives Himself to us. To be with us, to teach us, and to die for us so that through Him our lives do not end at death but continue forever with our Lord in Heaven!
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
We are not worthy of such a gift. But our God is gracious and merciful and gives it to us freely. We need only to believe in Him and to follow His ways.
George Bailey lived a wonderful life. He helped out those in need. He had many friends and a loving family. But he still failed to see his life as wonderful because he was missing the most important part. George admits that he has never been much of a praying man before going to the bridge to throw his life away. He is scared of Clarence and filled with anger and confusion at what surrounds him when he glimpses life without himself. His confusion continues until the moment on the bridge when he turns to God.
“Please, God, let me live again.”*
It is at this precise moment that the snow begins to fall again and his life is back to the way it was.
God has given each of us the very greatest gift; the gift of life. He formed each of us with purpose before we were even born. He gave His Son to save us so that our gift of life becomes eternal life with Him in His Kingdom. May we all take this precious gift and use it to follow Christ and spread His love and joy to everyone. To spread the news that it truly is a wonderful life.*All movie quotes taken from IMBD