Your Advent Journey- Part 4

Your Advent Journey- Part 4

Future

The last of Scrooge’s visitors shows him what will be.  What his life will look like and those around him if things don’t change. If he doesn’t change.  The lives of the Cratchit family, and the loss of their son Tiny Tim.  The general attitudes of those who knew him in the day to day.
Then he is taken somewhere that changes his life forever.

He is shown his own grave.

That  is where the redemption of Scrooge begins.

He is shown his death and burial and it’s enough to cause him to ‘resurrect’ if you will, out of his grave.

 Waking up a new man.  We leave Ebenezer Scrooge here.

But our Advent Journey is not over.

To recap:

We’ve remembered that before Christ, we had no interest in Him or were unaware that we had a void that needed to be filled.  That could only be filled by Christ himself.

And then people prepared the way for us to hear, to be open to the Gospel.

That Jesus takes us on a path of remembrance for repentance.

Our death.

Next is our burial.  When we take on the name of Jesus in baptism.  Commit our lives to Christ.

For believers we are encouraged to remember the “Reason for the Season” is Jesus’s birth.  God made flesh is indeed a great gift.

That He cared enough to come down into the world He created in order to save it.

 

But there is a bigger reason for this season.  More of God’s plan for our lives.
There is another gift for you and I as believers, and for those that still need to hear.  And that is the gift that was given 33 years after the birth of Christ.

The grace, love and mercy that poured out in shed blood by Jesus on Calvary.

His blood was most precious.

That gift allows us to really look to the future.

A future in Christ, a future with Christ. 

I know this season can be difficult for some. Past hurts. Current hurts.  Family not around or estranged.  Feeling alone in the midst of all the gatherings.  Feeling like, in this month of everyone seeming to be happy– you are finding yourself grieving for a variety of reasons.

 But know that all is not lost.  There is redemption.

There is a Hope.  There is joy and peace. 

Love and life everlasting. 

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Your Advent Journey- Pt. 3 “Present”

Your Advent Journey- Pt. 3 “Present”

 

Present (1)

In ‘A Christmas Carol’ Ebenezer’s 3rd visitor of the night is someone who shows him his present day.  How others view him. The other businessmen of the city, his nephew and the festive atmosphere at their house.

But also, his nieces’ and their guests disdain for Scrooge himself.

His clerk and his family. Shown to rejoice over the smallest of Christmas dinners.  Feeling that meager though it is, it’s a feast to them.

In everything they still find joy.   Even feeling blessed with their young son who is very frail.

Counting blessings is something Scrooge has never thought to count. Only his coins.

 

Coming back to our Advent Journey…how do people see us?

How often do they see Jesus in us?  How are we impacting our circles of influence?

  

 “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”-Micah 6:8

Come back tomorrow for Part Four- “Future”

 

Your Advent Journey- Pt. 2

Your Advent Journey- Pt. 2

Past

In the Story, the first visitor, after Marley,  to visit Scrooge is the Ghost of Christmas Past.

His past.

We see the unhappy childhood. Abandoned, unloved.

Left to spend nearly every day and holiday alone at boarding school. The loss of his sister. Perhaps resentment that his nephew lived.   We also see his success at his work. . But we see what that success can do.  It meant more to him than his lady love, she rejects him.  He turns more to work, and in that becomes greedy, more self-centered and bitter.

As Scrooge re-visits his past with the Spirit, he starts to see his lack.

But not quite his need.

 Christ makes us revisit our past, bringing it all to remembrance, not to shame us but to bring us to repentance.

10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”- 2 Cor. 7:10 (NIV)

 If you missed  Part One

Your Advent Journey

Your Advent Journey

Part 1

 

“O come, O come, Emmanuel.  And ransom captive Israel.

 That mourns in lonely exile here. Until the Son of God appear.”

 

Blaise Pascal said “There is a God shaped hole in each of us.”

Israel longed for a Savior.  Before Christ came into your life, you did too.

You just didn’t know it.

 

Advent is traditionally a time people reflect on the birth of Christ.

The Past, Present and the Future.

Our personal Advent journey is made up of similar parts.

As was Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”

It’s a lovely Christmas story (if you celebrate Christmas). It’s also a story of pain, loss, brokenness, redemption.  And counting your blessings.

 

 

Is. 9:2 “People walking in darkness have seen a great light.”

Israel, Ebenezer, you and I were people that did walk in darkness. Unaware that there is a Light. We didn’t care or know that we had a need for it.

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When we first meet Ebenezer Scrooge it is Christmas Eve, he is at his accounting office. He is an ornery, cold-hearted, uncaring soul.  He doesn’t need anyone or anything.  He has scolded his clerk for using too much coal, his nephew for actually being happy, and denied some charity workers seeking a donation with a comment about if there are not enough work houses for the poor, then something should be done to decrease the surplus population.

While he is rich he is very poor indeed.

 

preparing the way

Preparing the Way

But just as in Old Testament Israel’s time, God had a plan to prepare them for the coming Messiah.

He used the prophets to foretell.  He used people like Simeon, Anna, John the Baptist.

In the case of Ebenezer Scrooge, Dicken’s had planned for his long dead partner Jacob Marley to visit him that evening after he gets home.

He shows up in chains and weights much too heavy to bear.  But that is his task.  He is warning Scrooge that his fate will be the same if he doesn’t mend his ways.  Scrooge protests saying that Jacob was an excellent business man.

Marley counters with a lament about never seeing the needs of others. Always turning his eyes away from them.

 

In your own Advent Journey, in your life, God had a plan long before you were born.

God’s plan was to prepare the way for you to hear the message of the Gospel, included perhaps Grandparents and  parents,  even if you were theoretically born into the Faith, you still have to own it at some point.

God Divinely orchestrated people, events and circumstances to prepare our hearts and minds to receive the message of the Gospel. To feed and grow the hunger and longing that is within us.

 

Take some time to think about who or what prepared the ground of your heart for the Seeds of the Gospel?

 

Tune in Thursday for Your Advent Journey- Pt. 2 “Past”

Part Three- “Present”