Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's a Wonderful Life: George Bailey and Jeremiah

Once again, after my gums have stopped flapping on Wednesday night, my notes from this week's lesson at the 706 are posted for those of you who'd like to read them.

You know -- after speaking last night, I think that I have a LOT more that could be said/done with the comparison of George Bailey (from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE) and Jeremiah (from the Bible -- duh). Their lives really do run parallel in a lot more ways that I thought of before I openend my big stinkin' mouth last night.

Anyway, for those of you who care -- read on:

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706 NOTES 3-28-07: THE STORY OF YOU, Week Two

1. The great prophet of our time – Bono – stated sometimes you can’t make it on your own.

2. We all feel the need to know that what we’re going through – we’re not going through it alone. We take comfort in the fact when we know that someone else has walked that path before us, and has survived.

3. In class – how many of you…”Hey you had Mr. Blah for Geometry last year – what’s he like?” You need to know that someone has walked through this fire before you and didn’t get burned.

James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed.

4. Pride: I always love to hear the stories about people who freak out about getting me for a class.

5. They worry b/c…why? Then they talk to people who’ve had me, and instantly their fears are taken away.

6. But they need to know that someone has survived. They need to know the story of how to make it though it.

7. Last week, B read you the story of Corduroy. Just shows he’s a kid at heart.

8. Me? I live for the epic, good-over-evil, nobility-over-truth stories. LOTR. JLU. And this is one of the greatest, most valiant stories ever put on film:

It’s a Wonderful Life clip – stop just after the scene wipe (5:00 minutes)

9. George Bailey – triumph over adversity to become the richest man in Bedford Falls – not in money, but in love.

10. There are a few books found in the middle of the Old Testament referred to as the books of prophecy, books that foretell the story of Jesus. One of these writers is this guy Jeremiah (not the bullfrog).

11. Wrote four books, two of which are side-by-side in the OT – Jeremiah and Lamentations. Sound cheerful and uplifting, don’t they?

12. Can’t just sit and read through them – very allegorical – talks a lot about donkeys, and at one point God tells Jeremiah to get some linen shorts (must’ve been summertime), wear them but don’t take them off (even to wash them) and to then go bury them in the ground. Chapter 13.

13. This was done as an object lesson – and you thought the night we asked you to eat mustard was weird…

14. Quote: “Prophets insist that we deal with God as He reveals Himself, not as we imagine Him to be.”

15. Which is why there are so many different forms that God takes in the OT: fire, wind, voice, etc.

16. Jeremiah was very introspective prophet, struggling with and often overwhelmed by the role into which he has been thrust.

17. He was often bitter about his experience, and expresses the anger and frustration he feels. He is not depicted as a man of iron, and yet he continues in preaching and praying for GOD's people.

18. It’s a Wonderful Life – George Bailey walked through hardships, never having the easy life that everyone else around him was having.
a. Jeremiah 15:18 – Why is my pain unending?

19. Jeremiah, for me, is a great book. Not that I’ve ever felt led by God to bury my pants somewhere, but there’s a lot of comfort in some of the verses in here:
a. Ever felt like you’re alone in having to stand up (ST&!) at school? Jeremiah 1:4-7.
b. Jeremiah 2:2 – I remember your youthful loyalty, our love as newlyweds. You stayed with me through the wilderness years, stuck with me through all the hard places.

20. Jeremiah tells a similar story to the people of Israel – that life is hard. That they’ve been struggling with a lot of problems they brought on themselves (sin-repent-sin; lather, rinse, repeat).

21. But there are great promises in Jeremiah as well:
a. Jeremiah 29:11-14

22. How many for you, the story of you means you sometimes feel alone? Like you’re struggling? That you just need to know that someone did make it before you, b/c you can’t make it on your own/alone? Be it in a class or in life?

23. When Jesus asked His disciples who people thought He was, they said that’s some thought he was Jeremiah (Matthew 16:14). Why? B/c Jeremiah was just that well-thought of.

24. We oftentimes say we want to be like Jesus, but no one could’ve been like Jesus during Jesus’ time. That’s one of the reasons why the people who lived in Jesus’ time thought He might’ve been Jeremiah – that Jeremiah’s stories were ones of redemption and hope for the future, and that’s what Jesus claimed as well.

25. That was who they wanted Jesus to be like, just like we want our actions, our hearts to be as Christ’s – so that people will look at the way we act and see Jesus. So that they’ll hear His words in our voice. His story in our stories.

26. At no point did Jeremiah have a “Clarence moment” in life – where he saw the end of his life, what life would have been like without him there…but he did have faith in that the fact that God told Him it’d all work out in the end.

27. We’re about to enter the Easter season, a time when we celebrate the biggest shift from pain to promise in the Bible. Not really that ironic we’re watching a Christmas movie this week.

28. We live on the promise that we will “make it through this” b/c Christ has made it through this. Life.

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