This time of year can serve as a roundup of all we experienced in the 11 months preceding it. As we prepare for the holiday festivities, we can grow pensive about what we’ve been through. For most of us, there will be happy memories co-mingled with some struggles and challenges. Life can throw some hard stuff at us. Whatever we face, we often stop and question ourselves. Doubt and the lack of self-assurance overcome us. Maybe this is why we turn to the comforting background noise of age-old Christmas carols as we rewatch the same movies we’ve grown up with.
Now is the season when we see holiday movies that remind us of our challenges, with plotlines encouraging us to persevere through life’s stresses toward a happy ending. After all, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” In the Christmas classic 1946 movie of that title, Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed act through difficulties that inspire hopefulness for anything we face in real life. The Hallmark Channel loops endless other sappy movies that encourage us to keep our spirits up.
Our televisions haven’t limited this uplifting theme to adults. For example, the classic animated film “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” has inspired youngsters to look beyond bullying and name-calling and recognize their self-worth. Lessons we can teach our kids from this classic include not judging others based on their differences, following your dreams, facing your problems, and how good it feels to help others. In the business world, Rudolph is also used as a reminder for grown-ups. A business consulting group published a story about leadership lessons the red-nosed wonder gives us: 1. Don’t let assumed constraints hold you back, 2. Leverage your strengths, 3. Prepare for your opportunity, 4. Take a risk
This Advent Season, our scriptural lessons provide similar messages helping us reach beyond our doubt. For the Third Sunday of Advent, John the Baptist is filled with questions, with Jesus responding with a message of hope. Join us for worship this Sunday, December 11th at 8:00 AM, 10:15 AM, and 6:00 PM as we ponder the seasonal story that provides the best happy ending.