DayBreaks for 12/03/14 – Scrooge, Advent and Christmas
Every year as we draw closer to Christmas (yes, Thanksgiving is over, so it’s now “legal” to talk about Christmas!) a great number of people find delight in the delightful story by Dickens: A Christmas Carol. Why? Well, I suspect that there is something in the story that lures us back to it year after year; we never seem to grow tired of hearing its message. The main character is, of course, a surly old goat named Scrooge, who lives like a miser. He sees no benefit in being generous with the poor, or even paying a living wage to his poor workers. He holds his money tightly in clenched fists. He despises the thought of parting with any of his hard-earned cash. But even more than his money, Scrooge withholds his entire being. He withholds love and kindness, warmth and friendship. Then, one night, he is radically changed. He sees himself through the eyes of others. He has a vivid vision of his past; and then his present. But what is most frightful to him is when he is granted the opportunity of a lifetime. He is allowed to witness his future. But his future proves to be so dark and frightening, that it prompts within him a dramatic change. He undergoes a radical transformation and becomes an entirely new person. Rather than being cold and indifferent to people, he becomes generous and compassionate.
It is a heart-warming story. But even more than that, it is a hopeful story. It provides us all with the hope that we, too, can make needed and helpful changes in our lives. We can break free from the ruts we have burrowed and where we have wallowed, and from the negative behaviors we have cultivated throughout our lifetimes. We can become kind and compassionate, humble and hospitable, joyful and generous – no matter what we have been or how old we are.
I hope you have hope this Advent season. There is no reason not to be people of hope when we know the One who holds all the cards!
PRAYER: Stir hope in our hearts this season, Lord. It is not Your desire that we be people of despair but rather people of an overcoming joy and hope because You own the future! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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