By: Steve M. Woods
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2, NLT
Christmas can be one of the best and worst times of the years for families. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of waiting in line to buy gifts, the many festive events, and the family gatherings can take their toll on a person. The baby in the manger, the Christmas story about “God with us” somehow gets lost in the fog of the Christmas stress.
This year Christmas is different for my family and me since dad past away a few years ago and mother is slowly fading away with dementia. But I plan to make this the best Christmas ever for mother since this could be her last. After rolling mother to the living room in her wheel chair, I turn on the Christmas lights on the tree. She comments how lovely the tree is this year while she sits and watches the lights twinkle.
Sitting together as a family we watch some of our favorite Christmas movies and TV shows. One of my favorite is “A Christmas Carol”. I watch this heart inspiring movie every year sometimes alone just to remind me what is important in life…. loving people. If you have not seen this movie before with your family, let me share why I find it worth watching each year. On Christmas Eve, an old lonely miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was in his lifetime as mean and stingy as Scrooge is now and he warns him to change his ways or face the consequences in the afterlife. The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future show Scrooge how his own disappointments in life have shaped his miserable views about life, material things and people. Ebenezer was a mean old man who displayed no empathy to mankind especially to his employee Bob Cratchett and his sick son tiny Tim. But after the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future visited him, Scrooge had a change of heart and became one of the most caring, generous Christian men in town, especially to Bob Cratchett’s family. Ebenezer became the best Uncle ever to tiny Tim.
Each year I am stirred by this movie not because I am as mean and heartless as Scrooge but I do find that a little part of him creeps into my nature. The stress, sorrows and worries of everyday life can harden your heart. I do not know about you, but “I need to be reminded what is important in life.” That is what Christmas is all about, “God with us”. Like the movie “A Christmas Carol” God visited our miserable, selfish life arriving in this world as a helpless baby. God knew we needed a change of heart. More than that, we need a Savior to transform our sinful nature and give us a new life. How is your heart today? Are you ready for a change? Your new beginning could be just one prayer away.