Monday, November 28, 2011

"You Can't White Knuckle Life Alone"

Although we will be viewing and discussing the last of the four installments of It's A Wonderful Life, the Gospel assigned for the Second Sunday in Advent is from  Mark 1:1-8.

Our readings in the weeks leading up to Advent focused on our need for preparedness and vigilence. In keeping with those readings and discussions, this last module of our movie raises some interesting questions about George Bailey. For all of his "goodness," was his self-reliance really a form of arrogance? Did he ever learn to lean on others for support as he attempted to solve the problems of the town on his own? Was he a man of faith? I look  forward to viewing the movie and discussing these with you all tomorrow night.



  1. Hmmm ... does arrogance interplay with denial of our greatest human weakness: vulnerability? Is vulnerability associated with faith/trust in loving and being loved? Just asking. And also asking, do we (innocently/unintentionally) make gods of ourselves by sacrificing to serve others? Intention is my focal point here. Jesus' gave Love ... action in Love, not action due to obligation. I hold that even Jesus' death was an act of Love, not sacrifice. Sacrifice is something man has done for centuries to appease. Love is something man does to embrace.

  2. In this 1977 article that Stewart wrote forGuideposts, the actor recalls that George "is unaware that most of the people in town are arduously praying for him. In this scene, at the lowest point in George Bailey's life, Frank Capra was shooting a long shot of me slumped in despair. In agony I raise my eyes and following the script, plead, 'God...God...dear Father in heaven, I'm not a praying man, but if You're up there and You can hear me, show me the way, I'm at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God...'

    "As I said those words, I felt the loneliness and hopelessness of people who had nowhere to turn, and my eyes filled with tears. I broke down sobbing. This was not planned at all, but the power of that prayer, the realization that our Father in heaven is there to help the hopeless had reduced me to tears."

    In the article, Stewart further discusses the making of the film, his faith, and how his dad held him accountable to attend church once he moved to LA from little Indiana, Pennsylvania. A good read about a fine man and a classic movie.