The Light of the Moon

January 7, 2022  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

moon in the sky reflecting off the ocean water

If you own a television that has been turned on at any point in the last month or so, chances are you’ve caught at least a scene or two of the 1946 classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

If you’re not familiar with the movie, it follows the life of George Bailey from childhood through adulthood. A dreamer by nature, George has big plans for himself that involve world exploration and adventure — but family and community obligations keep him tethered to the same spot on the map, leading an altogether ordinary life.

One of the most memorable scenes from that movie is of George dancing with his sweetheart Mary while they sing “Buffalo Gals — Won’t you come out tonight/And dance by the light of the moon?”

That lyric always catches my ear. Of course, the moon doesn’t have any light of its own. All the moon has is the ability to reflect the light that shines upon it.

The same holds for us, doesn’t it? Our stewardship is purely a reflection of the grace granted to us by another. “Upon you the LORD shines,” writes Isaiah, “and over you appears his glory.” Every good action we will ever take begins in the mind of God. The fact that we have the honor of carrying it out on His behalf is a beautiful gift. It is God that makes our ordinary lives extraordinary.

In the end of the movie, George Bailey realizes that he had a far greater life because, instead of being the hero of his own story, he allowed himself to reflect goodness onto others.

Remember — the magi didn’t chart their own course. They merely followed the star.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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