In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Future gave Ebenezer Scrooge an ominous glimpse of what was in store for his future – as it existed under his current life choices. Bleak, dismal, lonely – it was Hell. He saw his own death and the reaction of those involved in his life – from relief to opportunistic. Could not one person be mournful for his passing? And the fate of Tiny Tim – could that not also be changed? Ebenezer was sorrowfully incredulous. The outcome of his life, and of those around him, depended sole on his choices.
Upon his “awakening” from the night-filled haunting, he chose to be different. He chose redemption and repentance – he no longer wanted to live the lonely, pitious life he led. On that glorious Christmas morning and all the days ahead, he chose love, joy, peace, tolerance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and mindfulness. He chose the fruit of the spirit – a direct charge from Galatians 5:22-23.
Doing the same thing, expecting different results – year after year after year. If we want to see changes in our Christmas Season, we need to start looking within. It takes time, effort and commitment to choose to live in the fruit of the spirit – a mindfulness of where our thoughts and emotions are leading us and a consorted effort is reining in those that do not match up.
Here are some questions to ponder this week as we head towards Christmas Day.
- How do we rob ourselves and others of the joy meant for the Season by fretting over those things we cannot control?
- What opportunities are we missing to partner in God’s work by solely focusing on those plans we have set forth?
- How can we change the pattern of stress and discord?
- How can we support someone who is going through a difficult time this year?
- What opportunities do we have to join God in His work during the Advent Season?
- What steps can we take in the next week, month, and year to ensure this and NEXT Christmas is more aligned with God’s intention for the Season?
I pray our old “Ebenezer” patterns are broken this year and a new, renewed Fruit of the Spirit is instilled within each of us – for the days, months, and years ahead for a more meaningful and Christ-filled Christmas Season.
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,because he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21 NIV