March 2022

In the name of Jesus our Lord and savior, I greet you once more. May the love and grace of Jesus carry you through the March winds to refreshing April showers. With Lent around the corner, my pondering went to the final hours before the death of Jesus. When I was reading Matthew, I came across Judas’ remorse. Remember how he threw the money back at the priests? They went out and bought “Potter’s Field”. It was a place of death and final corruption. Suddenly, I thought of another Potter’s Field. Do you remember it from the classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life? In this classic, the hero, George Bailey, spent his whole life frustrated because he never got to do the big things that meant success. Meanwhile, the villain, Mr. Potter, tries to own everything he can and is frustrated that the Building and Loan is out of reach. Caught in a crisis, George thinks he’s worth more dead than alive. Clarence, the angel (second class), tries to convince George that he had a wonderful life, so a world without George is created. In this different world, there is no Bailey Park, the development of life, family houses, and prosperity. Instead, there is Potter’s Field, a cemetery full of death and corruption. Slowly George begins to see that his life had great value. His little, constant contribution to Bedford Falls kept it beautiful, compared to Potterville, the alternative town of graft and corruption. Spoiler alert, in the end Clarence gets his wings and… well, watch the movie. Here’s the thing. George Bailey and Mr. Potter go on living in Bedford Falls. He never got rid of Mr. Potter and neither will you. We all have a “Mr. Potter” in our lives; an upset, frustrated person who tries to upset and frustrate everyone else. He has power, influence and money. One day he will stand before a man who cares nothing for any of that, and then he will realize just how poor he really is. You – the George Bailey in this story – you need to keep on doing what you do. Quietly lifting other people up, sharing a warm heart of compassion, regularly lending a helping hand, making it a life’s work of helping people, to share the wealth in a spiritual building and loan. Don’t let Mr. Potter get to you. Collectively, all of us George Baileys can make sure this remains a wonderful life. We’ll always have a Mr. Potter. Jesus said the wheat will grow with the tares until harvest time. We can’t change that, but there is something we can do. Don’t let Bailey Park become Potter’s Field. Stay humble! Stay strong! In His service… Pastor Brian

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