Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent Paradoxes: George Bailey

The message of It’s a Wonderful Life speaks to us because God really does work in the world through people. God uses individuals to accomplish his plan: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, the Judges, Samuel, David, Peter, Paul, etc. In Jeremiah 1:5 we see that God does have a plan for people’s lives before they are ever born. In Galatians 4:4 we see God has timed events in history precisely to happen when He wishes.

We can also be used by God to accomplish his plan, and this truth gives our lives meaning.

Why is It’s a Wonderful Life a Christmas movie? Parts of the movie, the climax included, take place at Christmas, but the movie could have been set at any time of year and in fact most of the movie doesn’t take place at Christmas. It is a good setting for the movie, though, because it fits the theme. What better time of year to tell the story that one life can make a difference than Christmas? All of history waited for and has been changed by the birth of Christ.

This is the Advent Paradox. God became man. The all powerful creator became a helpless babe. That is something that we can not fully understand. How could Jesus be fully God and fully man?

There is another paradox we can see in It’s a Wonderful Life and the Christmas message it delivers. How can God be an all powerful God who uses individuals to accomplish His plan and still allow people to choose? How can God be sovereign, and yet allow people to have free will?

This is the other paradox of the Christmas message: God controls all of history, and yet free will is real. He does not use people like so many chess pieces.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, non spiritual movie analysis here... I can't watch It's a Wonderful Life. One hour and 55 minutes of hell, except for the dancing over the swimming pool moment of course:), to get to 5 minutes of feel-good. Now, it's some of the best 5 minutes of feel-good ever put to film, but still, the first HOUR and 55 minutes are agonizing for me. Hope I didn't just commit heresy. Praying for you guys in D-town. We miss you.


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