The fourth week of Advent often focuses on love. We have been tracking “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a modern day presentation of major themes of the Biblical Christmas story. George Bailey discovers that $8,000 has been misplaced and his Uncle can’t remember where and the bank examiner is at the door to check their books. George despairs. In the pub as he tries to drown his sorrows, he prays for God’s help. Is God a being that allows us to stew in the juices of our own problems, sitting afar in the heavenlies keeping track of our mistakes or is God truly love?
George stands on the bridge contemplating suicide. Suddenly Clarence, angel second class without wings, jumps into the river crying help. This hints of a former scene when George as a 12 year old watches his brother Harry slide past him on the ice, into a hole, crying ,”help!” George does not hesitate but jumps in the pond after Harry and George does not hesitate to jump in to save Clarence. Love does not weigh pros and cons like a banker. Love is not something that results because benefits outweigh risks. Love responds to needs because of a basic belief in the value of the other.
God did not sit up in heaven watching us humans destroy ourselves but sent Jesus into our messy world with political powers, inns that were overcrowded, and social prejudice. He knew Joseph and Mary would face social censure for the pregnancy! The risks far outweighed the cons of baby Jesus prospering. It human thinking it looked very unlikely. Joseph accepted the marriage to Mary with all the risks that were so apparent because he believed God was in it. That is an example of love.
Perhaps you are facing a situation that just doesn’t make sense by human thinking. Love is willing to go where God leads. Blessings as you followGod’s leading this Christmas.
“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—
and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. (1 John 3:16)”