Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas
Blogger: Mary Keeley
This year we’re all feeling the need to suppress the frenzy of our Christmas to-do list. I had a wonderful week over Thanksgiving with family out of state. On the flight home I sensed stress rising as I recounted emails and work I still need to catch up on. Added to this is the Christmas tree trimming and decking the halls in time for hosting our small group Christmas party. At the same time I want to focus on what’s really important about this holy season.
This is why I turn to my favorite Christmas movie to usher in the season. It’s a Wonderful Life first released in 1946, at a time when Americans needed to be uplifted following WWII. But initially, the film was a box office disappointment, although it received critical acclaim. Nominated for five Oscars, the American Film Institute considers it one of the 100 best American films ever made.
It was only after the copyright ran out that the film was aired multiple times on numerous channels for years. This is when it attracted its far-reaching popularity. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “It’s a Wonderful Life is considered one of the most inspirational and beloved movies in American cinema.”
It’s the values expressed in the movie that help me to approach the days leading to Christmas with the biblical priorities in mind. There is nothing in Scripture about angels having to earn their wings, but Clarence’s character is instrumental in affirming a suicidal George Bailey how his life has changed the direction of people’s lives for the better. George has always set his dreams and his own best interests aside in favor of others’ needs.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his lifefor his friends” (John 15:13).
When inundated with commercials that feed desires for more stuff I’m convinced I must have, watching this unfolding theme corrects my perspective. Opportunities abound to apply this theme not only at Christmas time, but also throughout the year. I want to always put my clients’ best interest ahead of my personal gain. You have been gifted to write. Hand over your dreams for your writing career to God and focus on imparting true hope and inspiration to your audience.
It’s a Wonderful Life inspires the best in godly character and confirms the meaningful rewards we reap from such living. George Bailey’s family and friends—those many people whose lives he had blessed—prayed for him and came together to meet his need in his darkest hour.
What additional themes in this film do you see that contribute to its endearing quality? What is your favorite Christmas movie, and why?
What makes It’s a Wonderful Life the inspirational movie it’s acclaimed to be? Click to Tweet.
It’s a Wonderful Life inspires the best in godly character. Click to Tweet.