WHITE CHRISTMAS: Hope and Unity | FCC 85

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a film about restoring hope to the hopeless, especially our leaders and teachers. In this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast, we talk about how this applies to Christianity and the Church.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:02:52 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:25:10 – Christian Themes in WHITE CHRISTMAS
  • 01:09:25 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:17:03 – STAR WARS The Force Awakens !! SPOILER ALERT !!
  • 01:39:59 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:41:42 – Upcoming

We’ll Follow The Old Man Wherever He Wants To Go

Tom Waverly is a broken man. He went from being the Major General of the 151st Division in the second World War to being a lowly innkeeper in upstate Vermont. He went from being revered by the officers and the men who fought under his direction to being scolded by his receptionist while retrieving firewood. He is on the verge of losing hope, but he has one more trick up his sleeve: returning to arms to be a training commander overseas. If the powers that be accept his proposal, he will be restored to his original self.

Unfortunately, that restoration has to be postponed – and that hope has to be deferred – because his proposal to reenter the armed services is rejected. Waverly asks his friend Bob Wallace to stop reading the letter because he already knows what it means. He then rises from his seat and walks off by himself for a little more time to sulk.

This image from WHITE CHRISTMAS shows Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace and Dean Jagger as Tom Waverly reading a letter.

But this moment isn’t all bad because it spurs Wallace to take action. He has grown to respectfully fear and even love the Major General as a leader, and he cannot stand to see his leader in this type of distress. Wallace thinks something that can cheer Waverly is to remind him how important he is – to give him back his hope – so Wallace rallies the rest of the boys of the 151st division to come up to the inn to do just that.

And it’s a beautiful scene. The receptionist “accidentally” sent the General’s only two suits the dry cleaners, forcing him to wear his army uniform. He enters the performance hall, and he is surprised to find the entire 151st Division there to encourage him with the same song they sang at the beginning of the film, reaffirming the notion that they have not ever nor will they ever forget about their leader.

This image from WHITE CHRISTMAS shows Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace and Dean Jagger as Tom Waverly shaking hands.

It’s an example that we as the Church need to follow. When we see a brother or sister between a rock and a hard place, it is our job to rush to them and help them out of that distress. It’s like when someone accidentally hits their finger with a hammer and the fingers from the other hand wrap themselves around the injured digit immediately. It’s an all-encompassing comfort mechanism meant to ease the pain of whatever just happened.

God wants us as the Church to do this for each other not only because of the initial benefit of helping someone out, but also because He wants to create a strong enough longing within those outside of the Church that they will be jealous of the love we show each other and want to join in on the action. He wants those on the outside to look at us on the inside and think, “Man, I gotta get in on that!”

Then you will have the opportunity to talk about the Good News, and that itself is good news.

Key Texts

Proverbs 13:12 NLT

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

Acts 2:47 CEB

They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a good way to use stories to soften peoples' hearts. Find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever.
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