Prayer 7:13 Prayer 713
North Highland United Methodist Church
Friday, August 17, 2018
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

December 2016

Our worship focus during Advent, The Redemption of Scrooge invites us on a journey where wehave the opportunity to see how God blesses each and everyone of us with the gift of an opportunity for transformed living. In the famous Dickens’ novel of 1833, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge lives in resentment, and in a fear-filled, ice-cold, frozen condition of thinking only of himself. The only change he is interested in is change in the form of coins. Money is the only redeeming value he sees in life. His infamous “bah humbug” retort was more than dislike of Christmas. He greatly disliked interacting with others, and could have cared less about the lives or struggles of others. He did not hear their voices, and did not want to hear them.
 
Yet, Scrooge experiences a surprise wake-up from a spirit said to be his now deceased and also miserly partner. This ghostly spirit’s intent was to inspire Scrooge to transform his life while he is still living, and change his responses to life and the people around him while he is still living. An interesting view of a hellish after-life at that time, was a view that the ghosts of deceased who ignored the needy and chose to turn away rather than lend assistance, were forced through all eternity to witness the same misery, only now feel a great desire to help, but alas with no ability to do so. They were doomed to spend eternity actually seeing, hearing, and feeling the needs of others, but having no ability to help them. What a miserable existence that would be!
 
Scrooge had tight-fisted, hard-hearted economy that only concerned himself. God’s economy says that there is enough for all, and more than that, ALL are worthy and valuable. Which leaves us with the same questions Scrooge faced: will we be willing to “make change” and transform our living and our outlook on the world, or will we continue to be chained by the poverty of exclusion and selfishness?
 
May we choose to be guided by the Spirit of Christ and through prayer, worship and discipleship, learn to live a life blessed by transformation. And then we can sincerely proclaim along with the story’s sickly Tiny Tim, God Bless us, EVERYONE!
 
Peace to all and a blessed Christmas!
 
Pastor Lou