I wrote this in 1999 during a fairly rough time in my life. It was for a project for my church (at the time - shout-out to CoS in Coopersville) called "Millennium Meditations". I thought it was worth sharing again this year.
"Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her king! Let every heart prepare Him room - and heaven and nature sing..." And from Luke 2:14: "...Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God."
Ever since I was six years old and saw "A Christmas Carol" on stage for the first time, I have had a special affinity for the story. Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and all the other interesting characters have always struck a special chord with me. It doesn't matter whether I read (or watch) the story in July or December, when I hear Scrooge exclaim "The next man to say 'Merry Christmas' should be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart!", I am hating the old curmudgeon and cheering on Nephew Fred and Bob Cratchit. When the Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge his long-lost love, I get tears in my eyes. When the Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come shows him his own grave (and in the musical version, people dancing on it!), I'm frightened. When he wakes in the morning with a changed heart, I'm almost as jubilant as he is! Well, almost...but not quite.
You see, I wonder why it takes such drastic measures to make him "see the light", and I wonder if that's what it will take to make me see it, too. This season, will I be as generous as the "new Scrooge" with my time and money? Will I be helping those less fortunate this holiday season? Will I even be able to remain civil in the stores as I fight my way through the throngs of shoppers, or am I still stuck with the old Scrooge, cursing the crowds and the exorbitant prices? Will I be as reluctant to give my family or even myself a day off to celebrate?
But hey, I can always hope that I will learn from him (and not firsthand). If Ebenezer Scrooge can change, anyone can, right?!? I'm hoping that some part of "I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year" will stick this year!
There is always - no matter what time of year, but especially during the holidays - an investment to be made in humankind, and you'll never lose that, regardless of the state of the stockmarket or economy. I heard something interesting (meant as a joke) the other day, "Yes, Jesus saved, but maybe he should have invested." He DID invest. In you and me! With his Life. We are his nest egg. Imagine that. Now, if we invest that truth and love into others, we're earning interest! Time, Care, Mercy, Money...these are the investments that always return great dividends.
My favorite part of Dickens' story is when Scrooge invests his money into Christmas dinner and presents for the Cratchits, his time into sharing their celebration (and his nephew's, too!), and his heart into their lives - especially Tiny Tim's. This is when Scrooge finds out that such a simple investment saved more than the Cratchits - it also saved him!
Prayer: Lord, please help me to not be a scrooge - grumpy, stingy, miserly, bitter, lonely person. Bless me that I might be a blessing to others. Help me to keep my cool during this hectic season, and to always invest my "wealth" in humankind so that your investment continues to gain interest in more and more lives. Amen.