It’s a Wonder-Full Life! An Opportunity to Invite
By its title, you would never expect the movie It’s a Wonderful Life to begin as a story of despair and absolute desperation. The opening scene is Christmas Eve, 1945, in Bedford Falls, New York, and George Bailey (played by James Stewart) is suicidal. Word has gotten around town that their beloved George is desperate. Prayers for him ascend to Heaven, where two guardian angels discuss George’s plight. The senior angel then assigns Clarence Odbody, Angel 2nd Class, to save George in order to earn his angel wings. To help Clarence understand his “client,” he views a series of “flashbacks” in George’s life. These scenes also challenge our too-often shallow understanding of life’s priceless value.
This Advent season and Christmas Eve, we will be exploring some of the lessons we can learn by reflecting on this Christmas favorite. Of course, we will look at Scripture as our primary source. For example, the first message is called “Behind the Scenes,” based on The Book of Job and Old Testament prophecies. George doesn’t know, of course, all that is going on behind the scenes of his despair—but special forces are at work. Likewise, God’s people at the time of Jesus’ birth, had no idea how God was orchestrating history itself until “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4) arrived when the coming of Jesus, God’s Son, would have the most impact. And it probably goes without saying that we, too, often fail to realize how amazing life is when we are in the thick of its trials and challenges. Many of our friends, neighbors, classmates and work colleagues are looking, wondering, longing for hope in this too-often busy, stressed-out, chaotic world. The Good News is that Jesus is Hope!
I hope you will consider inviting your friends to come during December and give Trinity a try. One of my pastor friends greets visitors on Sundays by saying, “Give us Six. Give us six weeks before you decide to stay or go.” It takes a few weeks to get the feel for this fellowship. Christmas is a time when many people think about coming to church. There is still a remnant of faith, a sentiment that stirs within. But people are too uncomfortable to just show up. Coming to church can feel very intimidating. A simple invitation like, “Hey, meet me in front of the Fellowship Hall or Sanctuary. I’ll show you where to take your children. We can sit together. Maybe grab a quick lunch after the service.” Such a simple invitation can be the step that changes a life, a family, even a neighborhood. You offer the invitation―and we’ll do our best to make it interesting!
With God’s help, let’s make it a Wonder-Full Christmas!
See you in church!