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Jack Hall: 'It's a Wonderful Life' a metaphor for our relationship with God

 
By David Otten
Contributing writer
updated: 12/6/2020 3:44 PM

It's a wonderful life! Nobody who knows me well would be surprised to hear those words come out of my mouth at Christmastime.

Every year about this time I start thinking about the classic movie by that name. "It's a Wonderful Life!" is the story of George Bailey (portrayed by Jimmy Stewart -- one of my favorites). When George Bailey found himself in a situation that could cause him to lose everything, he wished he had never been born.

George was granted that wish by Clarence (his somewhat weird guardian angel.) George then was allowed to see what happened to everyone and everything important to him. His wife didn't know him; his children never existed; his friends thought he was a madman! Even his mother was afraid of him.

He found out just what might have happened to everyone and everything he cared about if he had never existed. Suddenly he realized what was really important to him; his hope was renewed; and he wanted to live again! That wish was granted to him as well.

Every year at this time this movie causes me take inventory about my life. What might have happened if I had never been born? I would never have met the love of my life, Millie. We would not have had Kellie, Lyndie, Natalie, Leslie and Matt. That would have meant that my sons-in-law, Ryan, Jimmy, and Adam, and my favorite daughter-in-law would not have been a part of our family. Then there is Raegan, Madison, Peyton, McKellyn, Emersyn, Aden, Jaxon, Micah and Esther! Not to mention the scores of wonderful people who have made up my church family over the years!

Those special relationships are only the beginning of the reasons why I say: "It's a wonderful life!" I could go on and on and on about the past 78 years. And, the more I think about what has made it so wonderful the more I realize most of it has come through relationships. They make this life wonderful!

And yet, I have not even come to "the relationship" that makes all of life worth living -- including all the other relationships! Listen to how Paul said it: "When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba, Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God has made you an heir" (Galatians 4:4-6).

There it is! The relationship which makes all of life wonderful -- here and now and in the hereafter! At just the time when God had decided before He ever created the world, Jesus (God in flesh) came to change our relationship with God! In Christ Jesus, we are no longer slaves to sin. Jesus came in the body of flesh to sacrifice it so that all who believe might become sons (and daughters) and call God "Father!"

Now that's the relationship that makes me say: "It's a wonderful life!" And, when I think about the fact that when Paul said: "when time came to completion," he was talking about what we call Christmas, it makes me say about this time of year: "It's the most miraculous time of year!" It's the time for the hope that we need! And, oh, how we need it this year! IT'S CHRISTMAS! We are going to celebrate it at Shawneetown First Baptist between now and Christmas Day. Don't miss it!

• Jack Hall is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Shawneetown.