Posted by: pastortomvabeach | December 18, 2017

Thought for the Week December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!  That is appropriate, I guess, since it’s Christmas Eve!

One way that Lilia and I like to add to the spirit of this season is to watch one or more depictions of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. This tale, though not theological, contains magnificent depictions of spiritual realities.

Scrooge represents the human nature apart from Christ. Though many would rather not admit it and try not to look like him on the outside, inside we were all part of the “Bah, Humbug!” set. Paul says it this way, No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies. Snake venom drips from their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don’t know where to find peace. They have no fear of God at all. (Romans 3:10-18) Kind of sounds like Scrooge, doesn’t it?

That is how the Word of God describes every single human being apart from Christ. Jacob Marley’s ghost gives us a vivid picture of the fate of those who fail to trust in Christ in this life. He is imprisoned in everlasting chains doomed to walk the earth witnessing all of the good he could have done and eternally unable to ever do again. Perhaps that will be some of what eternity separated from God will be like.

The best part of the story is Christmas morning, when Ebenezer awakes to find that he is still alive. He is so giddy and dumbstruck that he gets another chance to change and he does. Our favorite depiction of this is the movie made in 1951 in which Scrooge was played by Alistair Sim. Sim’s portrayal of Scrooge’s redemption is easily the most uplifting, spirited, child-like, and hilarious performance of all the screen renditions. He sings, he dances, he literally stands on his head. Then he terrifies his housekeeper with his newfound Christmas spirit and his laughter is positively infectious.

I kind of think that’s what it is really like when someone comes to faith in Christ. Jesus does such a great work inside of you that you are positively and irreversibly changed so much that those who knew you before might think you’ve gone around the bend! And why not? To be forgiven of every sin against man and God, to be adopted into God’s own family, to be lifted out of the flames of hell, and to be given freely life that never ends, I mean, who wouldn’t dance, sing, and stand on their head?

Christmas is such a marvelous time of year. Secular commentators call it magical because they haven’t tapped into the supernatural spiritual dimension of this celebration. The very Son of God, the eternal Word, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead became flesh and dwelt among us! It’s not magic, beloved, it’s God! Knowing Jesus makes it all the better. If you are reading this and you haven’t faced up to your Scrooge nature and invited Jesus to do a spiritual makeover in your life, why not make like Scrooge and just give up? Believe the good news that was given to all men. Unto you is born a Savior who is Christ the Lord. He will remake you and you’ll love it. Merry Christmas to you all and, as Tiny Tim said, “God bless us every one!” Just a thought.

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