I sensed that the congregation had a blast yesterday with the first of our “Very Merry Vinebranch Christmas TV Special” services. My sermon time featured clips from It’s a Wonderful Life, which I related to the gospel—and especially the plight of Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus. I’ll post the sermon later this week.
In the meantime, if you want to go deeper into the film’s Christian themes, I heartily recommend Greg Asimakoupoulos’s recently published Finding God in It’s a Wonderful Life. Regarding the scenes in which Clarence lets George see what the world would be like had he never lived, the author cites Jeremiah 1:5 to offer this reflection on God’s providential care:
But, even if you’re not a prophet to the nations, you are a person with a holy purpose. From the time God first thought of you and pictured you on planet earth, he has choreographed your steps and orchestrated your circumstances in order to positively impact people in your sphere of influence. Even before you were conceived by your parents, your heavenly Father conceived in his mind how you would waltz with wins and tango with losses. And in each situation, others in your life would be inextricably shaped by your presence in theirs.[†]
† Greg Asimakoupoulos, Finding God in It’s a Wonderful Life (Escondido, CA: eChristianBooks, 2012), 106.