There has been a huge flurry of Hallmark Christmas movies playing on the network of the same name since July. Talk about gearing up for the holiday in advance. A few years ago, I chose to look at some of the old Christmas stories and how they applied to things of today. Nothing is new under the sun, as they say. This particular story has been told and retold for years. Traditionally there is a production on our city’s famous Guthrie Theatre Stage every year and it seems to resonate with different audiences as time goes by.
I always thought that “A Christmas Carol” was just another of those dark Dickens stories, filled with hopeless characters. I now see it as a tale of a man’s redemption. I think if each of us were allowed to travel in Scrooge’s dreamlike time machine, we might all be afforded the same result Scrooge experienced.
Looking at my Christmases past, I remember there were always presents, even though we didn’t have any money. I don’t remember any of them anymore, but I recall moments of wonder and excitement.
There was always Christmas music and a huge, freshly, cut tree in church. It stood about 50’ tall. The aroma of the north woods permeated the sanctuary. Candles were lit and special music played. One of the biggest things I remember is never having much money. What I didn’t realize then, was the sacrifices my parents made for us. Even as I began my own family, there never seemed to be enough, but we muddled through.
Scrumptious sights and sounds and smells – Christmas is full of delicious treats, special cookies, good times with family, laughter and so much more, but for those who are alone,
it’s time to dwell on the emptiness and loneliness. For those who have little or no money, it means depression and guilt. For those who are far away from home, there’s a feeling of loss – a feeling of not being apart of this amazing season with those they love.
Christmas present has placed me in the golden years of life, giving me time to reflect, to refresh and rejuvenate as I decide what lies ahead. We now enjoy the charm of a house from the late 19th century. Even though the floors are uneven, it’s as if God prepared it just for us. We still find ourselves with little of financial gain but the love of God’s greatest gift to the world is alive in our hearts and that is what this holiday is really about.
The Christmases yet to be, could be consumed with thoughts of the grave, but it seems God has other plans for me. So I’ll continue to press on through the next chapter. None of us knows the amount allotted to us. If we choose, we can wallow in our aches and pains and give into the aging process, or we can find a way in which we can continue to bless others with God’s amazing grace.
As Scrooge’s heart softened through his journey, the tale of a heart redeemed gives us hope too. We can choose to be like the old humbug Scrooge or become new again through the love that God gave us on that first Christmas eve. The choice is really a no brainer.
Lord, help me realize that you are the light of the world radiating from a humble cradle. Your Christmas gift to the entire world is more than we deserve, yet you gave it freely, without condition. You are the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end. You are also God of all time. Live in my heart now as my Redeemer and King. Amen!