The Joy of Christmas

One of the all-time classic stories that celebrate the spirit of Christmas is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Published in 1843, it is the story of an older man named Scrooge, a man who has long since become disgruntled with society and, in many ways, life itself. He is detached from his family, void of friendships, and his only love is accumulating wealth while others around him suffer in poverty. It brings into clear light the words of Apostle Paul, who wrote, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim. 6:10).

As Scrooge’s story unfolds, he received a visit from his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, who advised Scrooge to change his ways or he, too, would end up in eternal turmoil. Marley bore the weight of heavy chains of which he said he forged each link, one by one, during his life on earth. For me, that can be symbolic of the books that will be opened at the Great White Throne Judgment spoken about in the book of Revelation, in which perhaps every transgression a person ever committed against the Lord is written. Marley advises Scrooge that he will receive three visitors that night.

Courtesy of YouTube User mreesm

Scrooge does indeed receive three visitors that night: the spirit of Christmas past, the spirit of Christmas present, and the spirit of Christmas yet to come, which could be seen as symbolic of the Holy Trinity. The first shows Scrooge his early life as a boy surrounded by family and friends celebrating Christmas. The second visitor shows him the celebration of Christmas in then present-day and specifically at the home of Bob Cratchit, his employee. There, Scrooge sees a young boy named Tiny Tim who suffers from a severe illness, and the spirit tells Scrooge that the boy will perish unless the future unfolds differently.

The third spirit gives Scrooge a glimpse in time, the future of Christmas yet to come, one in which Tiny Tim has died, and Scrooge also sees his name etched on a tombstone. Scrooge falls to his knees sobbing, as he begs the spirit for a second chance at life, citing that he will change his ways. Scrooge awakens to Christmas morning, and with a changed heart, he begins to spread Christmas cheer throughout the township. He gives the children money, buys the big turkey in the merchant window, and takes it to the Cratchit home. He asks for Cratchit’s forgiveness, gives him a long-overdue raise, and tends to all of Tiny Tim’s medical expenses so he can live a long full life.

A Christmas Carol is a beautiful story that will delight readers from start to finish, and though it is a fictional story, its theme of spiritual restoration is rooted in Scripture. The Bible says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). As we see in Scrooge’s life, sin provides the breeding ground for unhappiness, despair, and if left unchecked, ultimately spiritual death. However, the birth of Jesus Christ changed the trajectory of humanity’s fate forever. Thanks to Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross, we can receive the forgiveness of sin and live forever in heaven with God, but it’s not automatic. Like Scrooge, it comes down to a choice.

Apart from the fictional story of Scrooge, in real life, one must choose to repent, turn from wickedness, and ask for God’s forgiveness and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. How can I do so? Great question. To accept Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord and be cleansed, forgiven of sin, by His life-saving blood, then all you need to do is call upon His name right now in prayer. You can either lift your prayer or use the prayer below as a guide, but remember, you must confess you are a sinner, that you believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on a cross for your sins and that he rose from the grave. You must do this with a heart of repentance, meaning you will turn away from your sin, from that which displeases God. Understand that you are not coming to Christ by way of intellectual ascent but by faith. Let us pray.

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and ask for your forgiveness with a heart of repentance. By faith, I believe that Jesus is Your only begotten Son who died on a cross for my sins. I believe that you raised Him from the dead and that He now sits at Your right hand. I humbly confess Him as my Savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit into my life to help and guide me along the narrow path that leads to eternal life in heaven. Thank Father, and I lift this prayer to You in the blessed and holy name of Jesus, Amen. 

If you prayed that prayer or lifted your own to invite Jesus into your life as your Savior and Lord, welcome to the family of God! We ask that you please leave a comment below so we can rejoice with you and pray for you. Please be encouraged to contact a Christian friend or your local Bible-believing church and tell your friend or someone at the church that you accepted Jesus into your life. That person will gladly guide you in the steps ahead to help you grow stronger in your faith and closer to God.

Now, as followers of Jesus Christ, let us renew our commitment to go out to spread the love and goodness of God this Christmas season and always by sharing the gospel, loving and serving others, and seeing to the needs of the sick and needy. 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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