Saturday, March 5, 2022



"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men," Matthew 4:19

Hello Friends: 
     Last week was the fourth installment of the seven-post series “Steps to God”. I shared the post, “An Offer We Can’t Refuse!”. It used a takeoff on a memorable Godfather quote . . . but exponentially more important than the quote, is the offer made to each of us by God that is far better than we can even conceive or think about.
     The fifth post is entitled, “Scrooge No More-Gift of a Second Chance!”. I reference the great story A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens which details the life of the fictional character Ebenezer Scrooge. Many of us probably know the basics of the story, and many of us from time to time have been called “a scrooge”, called somebody else “a scrooge”, or at the least said “bah-humbug”.
     The Christmas Carol story about Ebenezer Scrooge is a wonderful example of the gift of a second chance, or a before and after story. The television and media industries have repeatedly and successfully used the gift of a second chance, or before and after themes. Even “Extreme Home Makeover”, and “Decked Out”, the show that I’m transfixed on now about transforming backyards into backyard decked paradises, are about turning a drab, dull, and difficult existence into an exciting, meaningful existence.
     What was the state of Ebenezer Scrooge before being given his second chance?
  1. Scrooge was a very cantankerous, “bah-humbug” type of old man, especially around Christmas. He didn’t see the bright side of anything, except when it came to making and saving money. He treated his nephew Fred with disdain when Fred invited him to the family Christmas party.
  2. Scrooge was a cold-hearted miser. He hated the thought of Christmas, a time where he was expected to use his hard-earned money to give gifts, and he cringed at the thought of giving to a charity fund to feed the hungry. He treated Bob Cratchit, his overworked and underpaid banking employee, as a necessary evil. Being kind to Cratchit on account of Tiny Tim, Cratchit’s disabled son, didn’t even cross his mind.
     How did Scrooge’s gift of a second chance come about? (Note: I want to qualify, first, by saying that I typically am not into talking about ghosts. I hope and pray you see the reasoning behind me talking about the ghosts in the lives of this fictional character.)
  1. The Ghost of Christmas Past: This ghost showed Scrooge that his typical happy life as a young man turned sour with the usual unloving gestures of his father at Christmastime, the death of his favorite aunt at Christmastime, and the spurned love of Belle, who left him one Christmas many years prior, after she could not put up with his overwhelming love of money. Scrooge saw his past as one with nostalgia and deep regret.
  2. The Ghost of Christmas Present: This ghost showed Scrooge how his greed and selfishness hurt others, particularly Cratchit, who couldn’t afford on the salary provided by Scrooge to provide adequate medical care for Tiny Tim. The ghost told Scrooge that Tiny Tim would die unless something changed financially for Cratchit to pay for medical care. Scrooge realized how much his heartless words and deeds hurt others.
  3. The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come: This ghost showed where Scrooge, without a radical transformation, would end up. He would end up in an overgrown grave, with unpaid servants stealing his belongings, with debtors relieved at his passing, and with Tiny Tim dying because of Cratchit’s inability to pay for medical care. Scrooge saw this and begged the ghost fervently for another chance. A few moments later he woke up in his bed on Christmas morning and was so overjoyed with the possibility of a new start, that he immediately got up and went to the store and got Christmas gifts for Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family members, went joyfully to his nephew Fred’s Christmas party, and gave generously to the charity fund.
     I used story of Ebenezer Scrooge because of the supernatural and transformational power it describes. More importantly, You and I, with God’s HOLY GHOST power, are prime examples of wonderful before and after stories. Paul in Romans 6:23 wrote, “For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” So, you and I can be living and breathing examples of the absolute best “Gift of a Second Chance”.

See you next time,

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