The first time I watched it, CDs weren’t on the market, so I popped it into the VCR.
After the VCR died, someone bought me the 1984 CD version of A Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott. And I did with it what I had done every year with the VCR version: curled up in my recliner, watched every second, and cried at the end.
Ebenezer Scrooge was a moneylender whose sole goal involved amassing more money and saying “bah humbug” when anyone wished him Merry Christmas—until the spirit of his dead partner sent three spirits to reclaim Scrooge before it was too late.
Scrooge’s first two visitors made little impact on his view of the season. The third, however, commanded his attention when he ushered Scrooge into his bedroom and showed him a covered figure on the bed. But when he took Scrooge to the cemetery and showed him a grave with Scrooge’s name emblazoned on it, Scrooge was overwhelmed with grief and promised to alter his ways if allowed to live. The apparition granted Scrooge his request, and the man changed his ways.
The Christmas changes Scrooge underwent may seem farfetched, but they aren’t. I hear about them every year as the Christmas season approaches. People express their joy and appreciation in unusual but refreshing ways. Retailers lower prices, churches reach out to the needy, people show kindness and rethink priorities, families forgive, and friends reunite. For a moment, the world demonstrates the possibility that we could live together in peace.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, also encountered various Christmas changes. She went from being a young unmarried Jewish girl to an unmarried pregnant woman living in a time when such behavior was unacceptable. The angel asked her fiancé to believe this was God’s doing, not an act of unfaithfulness. Joseph was no doubt the butt of many jokes and Mary the topic of town gossip, but they accepted the angel’s words as truth.
But the most marvelous Christmas change entails the one we can experience in our hearts when we let God’s gift of forgiveness through Christ enter. He changes sinners to saints, He forgives the unforgiven, and He cleanses the dirty. Whereas our futures were as bleak as Ebenezer Scrooge’s, they can become beautiful and filled with hope when Christ enters the picture.
Let the Christ of Christmas make a change in you.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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