Being a Scrooge
This year I read Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" to my kids for the first time. They loved the classic story and have been walking around being "Old" Scrooge and "New" Scrooge ever since we finished reading it. As we read we had some very informative conversations around the character who both hates and then loves Christmas.
One hallmark of the life of Ebeneezer Scrooge is that he is has placed value and identity in a commodity that will never satisfy him. He and his late partner, Marley, spent their entire adult lives chasing and collecting money in vast quantities. It was obvious to everyone but themselves, that money brought no comfort and instead had enslaved them.
Why do we chase things?
The human heart can relate to Ebeneezer in ways that we may not want to admit. We too chase after things that will not satisfy. We also give our heart and our energy to things that never produce true happiness. We even hope to manufacture cheer in the Christmas season through gifts that will eventually be obsolete.
Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
The question that is asked in Isaiah is "Why?" Why do we labor so hard for things that will not satisfy? Why do we seek after things that will only fade away?
This is a great question for introspection, but we should follow up Isaiah question with another....
What do we turn to when we realize that everything that we have chased has failed us?
Only One Gift is Sure to Satisfy
God gave us a gift that satisfies both our longings and desires, as well as our debt before him. Christmas is a story of the gift that brings forgiveness, redemption and joy. Because of sin, death became a part of the experience for all of God creation, but because of the life (and death) of one man, now true and satisfying life can be the experience of all who will hope in him. Truly God loves his creation and the gift of his son Jesus is the proof.
The free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Find humility and love in the story of the Manger. Find faithfulness and compassion in the story of the Man. Find comfort and freedom in story of the Cross. Read the story of the true gift of Christmas and be satisfied in Jesus and Jesus alone.
Suggested Scripture Reading
ADVENT READINGS FOR THE VERY YOUNG
BORN THE KING