Summary: The birth of Christ and the Second coming are all about Hope

Every year about this time television stations reach way back in their vaults and grab an old black and white film that I think still speaks to people's lives even today. It's a film we have all probably seen titled It's a Wonderful Life.

Its a movie about a man named George Bailey, a guy who never felt like he amounted to much in life. George had dreams of becoming a famous architect, and traveling the world, but instead of living those dreams he feels trapped in a humdrum job at a savings & loan that he felt obligated to take over when his father died. George helped many people over the years and had many friends. But through no fault of his own some money comes up missing and George gets plunged into a crisis that strains his every resource . Even though he has a great family and many friends Faced with criminal charges and the crises ahead, George Bailey decides to end it all and breaks down and leaps off a bridge into a river, and that's when his guardian angel, Clarence, comes down to show him what his community would be like without him. The angel takes him back through his life. He shows George how his job has benefitted many families, how his kindness to people and thoughtful acts have changed the lives of others, and how the ripples of George's love will spread through the world, helping to make it a better place.

Jimmy Stewart was the actor that played George Bailey and he said that during the making of that film strange things happened to him that have never happened in any other film that he had made. Stewart said that in one scene, George Bailey, broke and in despair, sits in a little roadside restaurant. Jimmy Stewart, playing George Bailey, raises his eyes and, following the script, pleads, "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 . . ."

Stewart said , "As I spoke those words, I felt the loneliness, the hopelessness of people everywhere who had nowhere to turn and my eyes filled with tears. I broke down sobbing. It was something that wasn't 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."

A simple film with a simple message of Hope. Have you ever stopped to think just how many peoples lives have been touched by that one movie. You ever wonder how many people in the world were just like George Bailey and ready to end it all but didn't because they saw that movie and it gave them hope.

Every time I watch that old black and white movie it touches my heart. You wanna know why? because its good to see a movie about hope.

You wanna know something else? Hope is what Christmas is all about.

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST GAVE HOPE TO THE HOPELESS. It gave hope not only to me and you and the George Baileys of our world but His birth gave hope to a nation .

Even in adulthood Jesus was still giving hope to the hopeless.

In Matthew 11 Jesus Gives Hope to a Hopeless prophet.

John the Baptist was in prison. When John heard in prison news of what Christ was doing, John sent his followers to ask Christ, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" "Are you the Messiah"

Jesus' said, "Go back and tell John that the blind can see, that the lame can walk, those with leprosy have been cured, the deaf can hear, the dead are raised, and that the good news is being preached to the poor."

He didn't say John I have a lot of folks coming to hear me preach, He didn't say if you plant a seed of 39.95 you'll get something back, He didn't say I'm looking for a big crowd at the next stop on my miracle healing tour.

No He said the blind see, the lame walk , the dumb speak, I'm preaching to the poor.

He basically said "tell John I'm giving hope to the hopeless..." That's why Jesus came and that's good news.

I want you to think about something today. Have you ever been hopeless? not just down on your luck, but utterly hopeless.

I want to tell you today about a family down around the Sandy Lake Community Just outside of Jonesville La. where I grew up that was hopeless, they had no where to turn and had all but given up hope for any kind of Christmas at all. There was no Fa-la-la-la-la or nothing like that in their home it was more like the Grinch had come and taken away all of their joy and our hope.

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