Hope for the bad guys

Christmas movies. You probably have a favorite or two. Have you noticed that almost all of them have villains? There’s the Grinch (Boris Karloff was his voice in 1966), Harry and Marv from Home Alone, the prosecuting attorney in Miracle on 34th Street, Ebenezer Scrooge, the bully in Christmas Story, Clark Griswold’s boss, the Bumble from Rudolph, Jack Frost in the third Santa movie, and of course, Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful life. I’m certain you could think of others.

Most of them get rehabilitated to some degree … except Old Man Potter. Never liked that guy. He still has George’s money that Uncle Billy left at the bank.

I like the stories where the bad guys turn from their wicked ways. If we admit it, we all have a little villain in us. Would you talk to your mother like Kevin did to his before being banished to the attic? If you didn’t say it, you probably thought it.

A part of the wonder of Christmas is grace. God demonstrated it best when He sent His Son into a sinful world. In John 3, Jesus said He came to save the world, not to condemn it. The Christ Child, innocent and pure, would become sin for humanity and pay an awful price for our redemption.

Grace suggests an undeserved gift. During this season of the year, we have opportunity to heal broken relationships, to start on a new path of spiritual growth, to focus on others instead of ourselves, and to model the attitude of Christ.

One of the reasons we like Christmas movies is that they contain whimsical, fantastic characters and storylines. They stir our imaginations and lighten our moods. They offer hope that good things will happen.

When you look at your Christmas list this year, who needs more than a present? Who needs the ministry of grace from you?

Who knows what Christmas miracle awaits when we treat others as Christ has treated us? There is hope for all of us … except Old Man Potter.

This entry was posted in Commentary and tagged , on by .

About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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