Thursday, December 14, 2017

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment...You received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
~ Luke 16:22-23, 25 (NIV)

A classic movie that plays every year around Christmas is, A Christmas Carol. The story tells of a crotchety old man named Scrooge. With his terrible disposition, he gets an attitude wake-up call three times on Christmas Eve.

He is visited by three spirits, the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. Mid way through the movie, there is a scene that gives me cogitation. Scrooge is being visited by the ghost of Christmas present. At the end of Scrooge's lesson, the spirit opens his big cloak to reveal two pitiful scrawny children. Their names are Want and Ignorance.

Why would this jovial spirit, who seems full of good will and cheer, be harboring these detestable looking children? And what exactly is the lesson to be learned? The story eludes that the spirit is showing those in need whom Scrooge neglects, and although that indeed is true, two other aspects are revealed:

First, it is showing a place of security and peace. A haven of sorts for those who come to him, the sick and depraved, full of ignorance and want.

Second, the spirit is showing the very attributes of Scrooge himself. Scrooge was selfish, bad spirited and miserly, but he was living in his state of deep sleep. He did not even think of his actions. His irredeemable philosophy of life was so well embedded within himself that he not only displayed, but became his very own code of subsistence. Scrooge was in want but was ignorant of that fact. He was wasting away in his misery.

Scrooge may have been rich monetarily but he was poor spiritually. He, himself, had become Want and Ignorance. Therefore, had he not changed, his fate was death.

This begs the question: Do we become so desensitized by “our” way of thinking that eventually our attitudes become our very nature? Do we think we are so perfect just as we are that we become blinded to the fact that we are pitiful, sickly, and skinny in spirit? We cannot see ourselves the way God sees us.

God knows our want and ignorance, yet sees beyond that to our potential for magnificence. He loves us so dearly. He is waiting with His cloak open wide and inside He provides a place of protection and blessings. It is there that we shed our nature and become clothed in His radiance, clean, whole, and forgiven. Then He opens that cloak to show others that their imperfections are accepted into His righteousness.

We should run, not walk, into the soft, comforting folds of His embrace. It is there in the warmth of His love that He will be ours and we will be His, forever.
God, grant us the grace to be patient and vigilant in watching, waiting, and listening attentively, so that we won't miss Christ when he comes knocking at our door. Remove whatever hinders us from receiving the gifts which the Savior brings — Joy, peace, justice, mercy, and love. And let us always remember that these are gifts that are only received by giving; let us remember, during this season and throughout the year, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the outcast, the prisoner, the weak, and the defenseless, with my prayers and with my substance. In the name of Christ we pray, Amen
In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
A classic movie that plays every year around Christmas is, A Christmas Carol.

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