Choices: To risk your life to save another

“It’s a Wonderful Life” opens with a chorus of prayers rising to the heavens for George Bailey of Bedford Falls.  Something is terribly wrong and his friends turn to God for help.  Clarence Oddbody, Angel Second Class who has not earned his wings, is sent to help.  But first he must review George’s life that has brought him to this moment of crisis.  The review starts with a vision of George, age 12, and friends sliding on shovels down a snowy embankment onto a frozen pond.  It comes to George’s little brother’s turn and he slides down the hill, onto the pond and into a hole in the ice at the end of the pond.  He cries out, “George, help!”  George jumps into the icy water and saves his brother but looses his hearing in his left ear.  Choosing to help costs.

         Abraham is the first name of the genealogy of Jesus that opens the New Testament and the Gospel of Matthew.  The list of people that are descendants also made choices about trusting God in challenging situations.  Each one takes risks that cost.  Abraham left his home country with his wife Sarah and nephew Lot. Abraham allowed Lot to choose the rich valley for his flocks.  Abraham chose to believe God that even in his old age he could sire a son, Isaac.  Stepping out in faith is risky.  We must believe that there is a God, that he is watching and that he cares.  That’s how Hebrews 11:1-3 defines faith.

         “11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.”

         George was watching his brother and George cared.  God was watching Abraham and his descendants and he cared.  God is watching us and he cares when we get ourselves in horrible situations.  We are people of HOPE, our Advent word for this week, because we see through history God watching over his creation in good times and rough times.  Blessings as you cry out for “help” and trust the God who is willing to save you at the price of the cross.

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