by Steve Laube
Ebenezer Scrooge shouted, “What is Christmas to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer….Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.”
Not the most merry of sentiments but is illustrative of the unhappy and empty among us. In our American culture we have a backwoods duck hunter being vilified in the media while those same critics give a wink and a pass to a 21 year old pop star whose wiggle and shake made her a finalist for Time magazine’s Person-of-the-Year award. In Africa tribal members are killing each other. In the Middle East civil war and anti-Semitism is woven in the fabric of every day. A dictator in North Korea executes his Uncle. Global hunger. Global economic unrest. Many are clamoring for a legislative solution. The moral fiber of society is unraveling. Everything seems upside down.
It was a similar milieu over two thousand years ago described as “when the fullness of time had come” which set the stage for the advent of Jesus into our world. The Western world was ruled by a self-described benevolent dictator in Rome whose methods for keeping peace were brutal and vicious. The country of Israel was run by a despot who was quickly going insane while his paranoia had him slaughtering family members and dozens of innocents (Matthew 2:16).
Into that morass of godless society a child was born. A story was begun. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. And that story is still worth telling.
[Spoiler Alert] The ending is truly magnificent. This child became a Savior. His selfless sacrifice on a Roman cross on our behalf gave us life. And hope. And joy to the world.
Even Scrooge had a second chance. It is never too late for redemption to pierce even the hardest heart. On the last page of our opening story the author described Scrooge this way: “His own heart laughed…and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well.”
Write your own version of that story. Let every word make a difference. Change the world word by word.
Have a Merry Christmas!