Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 2 Peter 3:17 (NIV).
Yesterday, we watched a recent Christmas movie: “The Man Who Invented Christmas.” It’s a fictionalized account of Charles Dickens and his struggles over writing “A Christmas Carol.” You know that story: Scrooge and the ghosts and Tiny Tim and “God bless us everyone.” My wife loves Christmas movies; most of her favorite movies are actually Christmas movies, including this new one (which came out only three years ago). So it should come as no surprise that we’ve been watching Christmas movies for most of a month now. I kid her all year long that she’s part elf, because she enjoys giving gifts. “Gifts” seems to be her love-language, how she expresses her heart.
Back to Scrooge. We’ve already watched several versions of the old story. One of my favorites is the musical with Albert Finney. In that, the miserable Scrooge transforms from the money-loving miser into a good and decent man in the space of only a few nightmares. Nightmares, that is, that warn him of how pushing love out of his heart has filled it with selfish loathing.
That’s really the same message as verse 17, isn’t it?
Aren’t we all a little bit like Scrooge? We all need a wake-up-call nightmare now and then, to make us question just what we believe. Perhaps we could use a visit from the spirits of Christmas to forewarn us of what could happen if we chose to abandon our Lord. Charles Dickens was a believer in Christ, though one skeptical of most evangelical methods used to preach Him. Yet Dickens imbued his characters with Christian virtues, especially those involving mercy and redemption. After all, Scrooge didn’t start out as a heartless miser. It took a lifetime of spiritually lawless choices to grow his heart cold: so cold that only the spirit of Christmas – or the Spirit of Christ – could warm it back to life. At the end of the story, Scrooge was redeemed. Sort of like Dickens himself.
What say you about that?
Maybe this Christmas season you’ll read Dickens’ book. Or watch the movie. Or maybe see a play about it. No matter, consider it to be a forewarning to you (and me) as well, that we should hold fast to the love of Jesus because He holds fast to us. Nothing can ever tear us away from the love of Jesus, but we can freely abandon it. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. Instead, let’s hope we each realize the happier invocation for God to bless us every one…for indeed He has. Especially at Christmas.
For further reading: 1 Corinthians 10:12, 2 Peter 3:18
Christmas Savior Jesus, You have blessed me so richly. Thank You. Thank You and please inspire me to share those blessings – and You – with someone else today.
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