Our Bible verse for today: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
Our thought for today: “The world is a better place with you in it.”
A few weeks ago my wife and I went to Dollywood for the annual “Christmas in the Smokies” celebration. I love Dollywood at Christmastime! The entire park is strung with thousands of lights and Christmas decorations. There are eleven different Christmas musicals you can see throughout the day and evening as you wander the park, going from theatre to theatre. The evening concludes with a big Christmas parade complete with floats, costumed characters, and of course, Santa. But underlying and woven throughout all of it is a strong emphasis on the true reason for the season – the birth of Jesus.
One of the shows Linda and I saw this year was a stage production of the classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. That is by far my favorite Christmas movie of all time. I’m not going to spend much time explaining the story, you probably know it well, but George Bailey is a middle-aged man who believes he has wasted his life in the little town of Bedford Falls. While facing a crisis that might ruin the family business, he decides everyone would be better off if he was dead, and so he decides to commit suicide. But before he can, Clarence, a friendly but bumbling angel, is sent to convince George not to do it. In a dream sequence Clarence shows George what life for his family, and for everyone else in Bedford Falls, would have been like if he had never lived.
Long story short, what George learned was that his average and seemingly insignificant life had actually made a subtle but huge difference in more ways and in more lives than he could have ever imagined. Not only was his direct impact on people important and meaningful, but his influence then radiated out like concentric circles on the surface of the water, making a positive difference on people he had never even met.
The reason I love George’s story is because it is actually all of our stories. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is really about you and me. Your life makes more of a difference than you realize. This world is a better place because you are in it.
All this month we’re going to explore the many ways in which your life makes a meaningful difference. The truth is, your life matters. It matters very, very much.