I was asked to contribute a short piece for the April edition of the Church of Scotland’s magazine, Life and Work, as part of the publication’s “The Big Question”
This being the Easter edition, the “question” was “What is the best depiction of the Easter story that you have seen?”
This is what I wrote:
I’m going to be a little controversial here, and plump for a film that we would not normally consider to be an obvious Easter depiction.
Almost every Christmas, many of us, gathered round the TV set, tune in to a beloved old family film: “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
It’s an all time favourite , essential viewing at that Holy Season.
Yet, it’s one of the darkest movies ever (it was a failure when first released in the cinema).
We all know the story; how Jimmy Stewart’s character, George Bailley, thinking that his life has amounted to nothing and that he is a complete failure, is on the verge of suicide, but is ‘saved’ by the ‘angel’ Clarence.
He is shown – in flashback – what life in his small town would have been like had he not intervened, even in a small way.
It’s a picture of awfulness and hopelessness and more.
As a result, horrified and contrite at what his society (the world in microcosm) could have become without his positive interactions, he is saved…….. if you like, resurrected to a new and positive outlook and mission.
This is not just a film for Christmas nor Easter, but for all times and seasons – when we realise that our post-resurrection acts and deeds can indeed make for a better world.
Because of Christ, we live. May we make our life more than just existence- and give life to those around us.
This is, because of the Risen Christ, a “Wonderful Life”!