Christmas Movies

Notes from Shirley

Written by Pastor Shirley Deemer
From the December 2023 Edition of the Messenger
I LOVE Christmas Movies. They make us laugh, cry, and think about what’s important. I have
many favorites and It’s a Wonderful Life is one of them. It’s interesting that when it was
released, it did not do well at the theaters. In fact, it was considered a financial flop, and it
has been criticized for various other reasons. It may not be as quotable as The Grinch or The
Christmas Story, but the message that our actions make a difference in the community
around us is one that we should take to heart.

It is also rich in characters. One of my favorites is Clarence, the angel. When deciding who to
send to help George, Joseph suggests that it’s Clarence’s turn, but laments that “He’s got the
I.Q. of a rabbit.” “Yes”, says Franklin, “but he’s got the faith of a child – simple.” What’s so
important about Clarence’s child-like faith? In Matthew 19:14, when the disciples are giving
a hard time to those who have brought their children to see Jesus, he says “Let the little
children come to me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Jesus knows that
children are adventurous, imaginative, fearless, and have not overcomplicated life yet.
Why child-like faith? I Corinthians 1:27 says, “But God chose the foolish things of the world
to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” God chose
David, a lowly shepherd; Moses, a stutterer with low self-esteem; Rahab a prostitute; a boy
with some fish and loaves of bread; and Matthew, a hated tax-collector.
God chose Mary, a young woman to give birth to a baby, who would show us how our actions
still make a difference in our families, our churches, our community, and the world. It’s a
Wonderful Life reminds us that life’s most important work is often work we never planned on
doing. Clarence reminds us that God can use the most unlikely among us to get the work
It’s easy to be overwhelmed with all that is going on, but Christmas reminds us of the joy that
awaits us when we trust in the baby of the manger, the savior of the world, Jesus who calls to
us to come like children.
May God’s light come alive in your hearts with child-like faith this Christmas,
Pastor Shirley
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