During this week we have focused on John 17; the prayer of Consecration by Jesus of His Church and of His children as a “temple of Christ.” Today we backtrack a bit to John 15, where Jesus instructs us how to live this consecration in a new covenant
“No longer do I call you my servants; but my friends.” Friends are invited into a deeper intimacy than employees. Though you are not my servants but my friends I have a commandment for you--
New, yet ever old—Love one another as I have loved you.” It is not you who have chosen Me-- It is I who have chosen you.” My children if you make every effort to get to know God well, you will share in the joy of His friendship.
Perhaps this message is no more ironically portrayed than in Charles Dickens’ character: Ebenezer Scrooge, who is such a curmudgeonly gruff and cruel person; that he is friendly to no one. He pushes away his pain; and takes it out on everyone around him.
Scrooge is a Victorian-era accountant who lived a miserly and solitary life; but he is capable of some emotional breaks… After the death of his business partner, Jacob Marley, introduces Ebenezer to a walk with three ghosts who will forever change his life; and make it whole again…
Focused on these messages brought by spectral visitors, Marley (Dickens) sees the opportunity to sew back together the health and welfare of an entire community.
These “spirits/ghosts/angels” certainly messengers read back to Scrooge some awful things that he has said and done. Not loving things of family or employees.
As you sit there for a moment, imagine someone reading back to you the things that you have said or done in a moment of anger. Perhaps the ties that you were short with a MYO teen or perhaps one of your own community members… you might begin to wonder about what you said or didn’t say or perhaps you chose to walk away and ignore someone.
The character of Scrooge is based on the propositions of what if—what if I reacted cruelly? What if I let my anger get the best of me? All the characters in this play work together to help Scrooge to open his heart.
You and I can use this painful resume as a beginning move from the week of consecration to the week of repentance/ renewal. What a wonderful, opportune time that Mr. Dickens offers us to grow like Ebenezer—to grow through this glorious season of preparation for the birth of our Savior.
To come to the realization: God loves us, everyone.