Have you ever seen the movie It’s a Wonderful Life? If you haven’t, you need to this Christmas.
A young man, George Bailey, wanted to get out the little town of Bedford Falls and see the world. He didn’t want to be trapped in the little town and follow in his father’s shoes in the savings and loan. He was getting ready to leave the little boring town when his father died and he was called upon to take his father's place. Let's look at the story a little.
The movie begins with several people praying for George Bailey. Then the scene is shifted to the night sky and the angels get together to discuss the plight of George Bailey in response to all of the prayers. The angels decide to send Clarence Oddbody (Angel Second Class) to save him. They show Clarence the story of George’s life and how he saved so many lives and changed the lives of so many others. However, when some money comes up missing on Christmas Eve, George is sure he will go to prison and decides that he’s worth more dead than alive. He goes to the bridge to jump off, but Clarence jumps in first so George will save him—and George does. While they’re drying off, George wishes he had never been born and Clarence grants his wish. Now George gets to see all of the changes because of the absence of his life, and comes to realize how many people he actually influenced.
Clarence says, “Strange isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives and when he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
If George Bailey was the source of so much good in Bedford Falls, imagine the difference if other people had never been born. You could call it the “George Bailey Test”. Does the world seem dark and dreary? Are you close to despair? When life seems nothing more than “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (Shakespeare), ask yourself this question: “What if He had never been born?” Not George Bailey, but Jesus Christ! If Jesus had never been born, what then? No cross, no tomb, no resurrection. If Jesus had never walked this earth, what then? No disciples, no church, no fellowship.
Over the years times have changed in many ways. In history names had a greater significance that they seem to today. All of our family names have come from something that was important.
My family name “Ezel” can be found in the Bible. I Samuel 20:19: In this chapter Jonathan warned David that Saul was seeking to slay him and he told David to “Remain by the stone Ezel.” The word Ezel means the “marker of the way”. (I know that would only be important to us Ezells.)
Did you know that there are 256 names given for the Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible? No wonder Isaiah says His name will be called “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace.” He lived up to all those names and more.
God our Father knew what we needed when He sent Him to the world as a Wonderful Saviour, a Counselor, that we needed a Mighty God, an Everlasting Father, and a Prince of Peace.
What a wonderful Father that send us a wonderfull Lord!
What a Gift!
Let me relate a story I read the other day.
The son of a wealthy man expected to receive a sports car for his graduation. Instead his dad called him into his study and told him that he loved him and handed him a wrapped up present. When the son opened it, he found it to be a box containing a leather bound Bible, with his name inscribed on it. Angrily the young man tossed the box on the father’s desk and stormed out saying: “With all your money, all you can give me is a Bible!”
The son left home and refused to talk to his dad despite the fact that the dad tried hard to contact him.
Years later, the son got a call that his dad had died, leaving him everything. As he was going through his father’s belongings, he found that Bible still in its box.
Curious, he took the Bible out of the box and opened it. The page fell open at a passage his father had marked. And as he lookede at the page, he noticed that his Dad underlined Mark 7:11: “If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father give what is good to those who ask Him.”
As he read it, a car key fell from inside the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name on it for the sports cat that he had wanted years earlier. On the tag beside his graduation date were the words: “Paid in Full. Love, Dad.”
John 1:12 says: “But to as many as received him, he gave them the right to become sons of God, to those who believe in His Name.”
What a wonderful Name! What a Wonderful Saviour!
Thanks to God for this unspeakable Gift!