Friday, April 17, 2015

Blogging From A to Z - O is for "O Come All Ye Faithful"

Welcome to the It's A Wonderful Blog's Blogging From A to Z April (2015) Challenge. For this challenge, I will post every day in April (except for Sundays) about topics related to the Frank Capra/Jimmy Stewart film, It's a Wonderful Life.

While the opening credits of It’s a Wonderful Life begin to the soft strain of a string performance of "Buffalo Gals," the real action of the film begins with another song. 

We recognize it. The song is “O Come All Ye Faithful,” a traditional Christmas tune that is about the birth of Jesus. It is played gently on what sounds like a xylophone … an instrument commonly found in elementary school music rooms.

As the song plays, the audience is shown streetscapes. The scene serves to introduce us to the town of Bedford Falls. We also are being introduced to the residents of Bedford Falls. But instead of seeing them, we only hear their voices.

They are all praying for George Bailey. From them, we learn that George:
·      is well-liked.
·      cares for those around him.
·      cares for his community.
·      has a mother who is worried.
·      has a wife who is worried.
·      has children who is worried.
·      someone is indebted to him for “everything,” which indicates something more important than money.
·      is selfless.

The scene is extremely short, but it teaches us so much. We know a lot about George before we really know anything about him.

The fact that these prayers are being said during a Christian song that includes the word “faithful” is significant. This film is about faith. It’s not about religion. It is about faith. There IS a difference. The song is inviting us to watch what eventually becomes George Bailey’s rebirth in faith. It is also a rebirth of his trust in God, his family, his community, his business, and himself.

A belief in God is not required, but it is helpful in the effort to fully understand the depths and meanings of this film.

If you don't believe in God, please join the conversation! Do you enjoy this film anyway? What messages do you take away from it?

If you do believe in God, does this film strengthen your faith? If so, how? If not, why not?

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