Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

"It's a Wonderful Life": Supportive Fellowship

The movie It's a Wonderful Life celebrates one man's extraordinary generosity. George Bailey, the proprietor of a building and loan institution, demonstrates compassion, hope, and trust in others, even when adversity strikes.

The trouble began when George's absent-minded uncle misplaced $8,000. George realized he could go to jail for his uncle's mistake, and he wished he'd never been born. But then Clarence Oddbody, an angel, was dispatched from heaven to show George what the world would have been like had he never been born. George discovered that in spite of his financial woes, he was a wealthy man because of the investments he made all his life in other people.

George then returned to the real world grateful to be alive. Even though the law wanted him for the missing $8,000, George was thrilled to know he served a purpose in life. As he entered the front door of his home, he saw the bank examiner and the sheriff awaiting him. Eyeing his children, George ran to hug and kiss them. Mary, his wife, entered through the door, and he greeted her with a loving embrace. "You have no idea what happened to me," he said.

Mary responded, "You have no idea what happened while you were gone."

Hearing the commotion of an approaching crowd, she motioned for him to stand in front of the decorated Christmas tree in the living room. Uncle Billy was first to enter the house, carrying a wicker basket filled with cash. He dumped it all on a table in front of George and explained, "Mary told some people you were in trouble, and they scattered all over town collecting money. They didn't ask any questions. They just wanted to help."

People then filled the living room and piled money on the table. Mr. Martini, the owner of the local nightclub, brought in money from the jukebox. Mr. Gower, the druggist whom George worked for as a boy, brought in all his accounts receivable funds. Millionaire Sam Wainwright, a lifelong friend, sent a telegram promising cash to cover the missing money. George's war-hero brother entered and proposed a toast: "To my brother, the richest man in town."

George eyed a copy of a book on top of the pile of money. He opened it up and discovered it was a gift from Clarence, the angel. The inscription read: "No man is a failure who has friends."

Elapsed time: Measured from the beginning of the opening credit, this scene begins at 2:02:58 and lasts approximately six-and-a-half minutes.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Bowling Acquaintance Donates Kidney

In Bowling Alone, Robert D. Putnam writes:

Before October 29, 1997, John Lambert and Andy Boschma knew each other only through their local bowling league at the Ypsi-Arbor Lanes in ...
[Read More]

On Multi-Ethnic Worship

Mark DeYmaz, pastor of the Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, is passionate about building a multi-ethnic and economically diverse church. In his book Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic ...

[Read More]