I do love Christmas movies. I watched one of my favorites last night: The Bishop’s Wife. Cary Grant is an angel that comes in answer to David Niven’s prayer for help and guidance. David Niven is the Bishop who wants to leave a lasting mark on the kingdom of God and to His glory by building a grand cathedral. To that end, he spends his time and energy in raising the funds to build the glorious edifice. He neglects his wife and daughter and forgets the place from which he has risen.
But through the angel, God shows He cares more about the people in Bishop Brougham’s life and the Bishop’s relationships with them. He cares more about the Bishop helping people than building yet another building. In the end, when the Bishop has submitted to God’s answer to his prayer for guidance, he gives a sermon about giving of ourselves to the Christ Child, not just each other, at Christmas.
I love this movie for so many reasons. For one, it emphasizes that in our “doing” we cannot forget the “being”—that if our relationships suffer in our work for the Lord, then maybe we aren’t pursuing the right thing. It reminds me that our relationships are truly the only things that last in God’s economy. They are our treasures stored up in heaven. And it reminds me that when we pray, sometimes the Lord answers in ways we don’t expect, redirecting our efforts that we thought so worthy and good into something we didn’t expect, but something so much better, so much more worthy to be called His doing.
If this movie isn’t on your usual Christmas watch list, be sure to catch it on TV or DVD. It is one of the gems of the season for me.