Good morning. It is Tuesday, December 28, 2021. Jeanette Stark here.
A few nights ago, with the snow falling and a hot firing in the wood stove, I sat down and watched It’s a Wonderful Life. I have seen it before, in parts, but I do not remember watching it from start to finish. A few things stuck out at me.
Firstly, how precious life is. How we will never know how our lives have impacted others. Maybe someday we will know, but for now, we simply must believe that our lives are important.
Secondly, and a little more random, the names of the policeman and the taxi driver: Bert and Ernie. For those Sesame Street lovers, you will understand the connection. I wondered if the characters on the children’s TV program were named after the men in the movie. It does not appear so, however, “in the 1996 special Elmo Saves Christmas…Ernie and Bert walk by a TV set, which is playing the movie. The pair are surprised by the following dialogue: "Bert! Ernie! What's the matter with you two guys? You were here on my wedding night!" (Source: muppet.fandom.com)
Thirdly, Clarence the angel leaves a book for George. It’s Tom Sawyer and inside he wrote, “No man is a failure who has friends…”
This statement is an understatement. Where would we be without our friends?!
I can only speak for myself, but without my friends, I would have a very lonely existence. My friends have showed up and stood up and put up in ways too many to mention. My friends have shown their love repeatedly with word and action.
Henri Nouwen once said, “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
But when I think of a true friend, a friend that will never let you down or disappoint, I think of Jesus.
John 15:15 ESV “No longer do I call you servants…but I have called you friends…”
There is an old hymn titled No Friend Like Jesus and some of it goes like this:
There is not a friend like Jesus In the trying scenes of life; He can hear the heart’s faint whisper, Calm the tempest’s raging strife.
There is not a friend like Jesus, Patient, tender, kind, and true; If you’ll be a friend of Jesus, He will be a friend to you..
Indeed, Jesus wants to be your friend. He is standing just outside your door. He is not just standing there, but He is knocking.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20 NKJV
And he does not want to just come in, He wants to dine with you! He wants to converse with you. He wants to share your burdens and lighten your load.
James 4:8 ESV “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…”
Jesus, God the Son, wants to have a relationship with you. His greatest desire is for you to know Him and to accept His gift of eternal life.
Jesus died for our sins. He took our place on that cross. He didn’t have to do it, but He did because He loves us that much.
“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.” ― E.B. White, Charlotte's Web