Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is quite possibly the most famous Christmas tale ever told. The classic holiday ghost story can claim notoriety as one of the most recognizable seasonal staples of all time. We even call people “Scrooge” and know the connotation of miserly, mean, selfish and stingy. Perhaps it is so popular because we can relate to it; most of us have had our priorities out of whack at one time or another.
Initially, in the story, we find Scrooge on Christmas Eve, lonely and bitter, only caring about himself — but wealthy. His “Bah humbug!” was the Victorian version of profanity. His miserly habits toward others drove everyone away, including loved ones. Then he was visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. He saw what would happen if he didn’t change his ways: isolation, bitterness and loneliness. Scrooge genuinely repented and was transformed. The story ends with “he knew how to keep Christmas well.”
Scrooge’s transformation from selfish and self-centered to generous and hospitable shows us redemption is not only possible, but is available to all. We are surrounded by opportunities “to keep Christmas well.” How can we convert our holiday from consumer and commercialism to generosity and hospitality?
Today be grateful for people, not things. Look for opportunities to extend your love to others by inviting them to one of our Christmas experiences if you live in DFW or wherever you live invite someone to go to church with you.
Jesus, prompt me today to be generous in thoughts and actions. Amen.