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Don’t be a Scrooge

Charles Dickens published “A Christmas Carol” in 1843 (176 years ago). Since its first publication, it has been adapted for theater, film, tv, radio and even opera, countless times. The various adaptations have included straightforward retellings, modernizations, parodies and sequels. This story has been adapted into around 200 films. “A Christmas Carol” is so familiar we can often see ourselves and those around us in the characters. Let’s be honest — we too can have our “Bah, Humbug” moments. Ebenezer Scrooge lives to make money and nothing else. Hardly anything brought him happiness. Ebenezer almost fits in the role of king Herod in the story of the birth of Jesus in how Herod tried to remove the Spirit of Christmas, and more importantly the Spirit of Christ from all of us and all-around us. Herod commands the wise men to report back to him where Christ was so that he could go and worship him also. Of course, the wise men are warned in a dream to not go back to Herod, so they didn’t. They weren’t called wise men for nothing! They knew Herod’s reputation as one who killed his wife and two of his sons because they threatened his power. They knew he didn’t want to worship the Christ child. These types of Scrooges are not isolated in history. Their spirit lives on even today.

Back to the Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol,” Scrooge is visited by three past figures who show him how things were in the past, how they are right now, and what the future looks like. Jesus warns us in Luke 12:15 of being a self-absorbed Scrooge when he says, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” As Christmas morning dawned, Scrooge awakens to realize he was given a second chance. Charles Dickens believed that we have all been given another chance, only because of the birth of Jesus, the hero of the greatest Christmas story.

Christmas is only four weeks away. As we steadily deal with life around us — don’t be a Scrooge. Seek God and the reprieve He offers. May we too learn from our past. May we seek to endure our present with hopes to guide into a better future through God’s care. Maybe, like Scrooge, you are living too selfishly. Maybe, like Scrooge, you are not valuing people as you should. Don’t miss the opportunities given for you to enjoy life and be the good needed. Dickens concludes that Scrooge became, “as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew.” #bethegood

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail.com.