The Word — A response to Christmas

Published 8:00 am Sunday, December 18, 2022

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Most of us remember the story of Scrooge by Charles Dickens. He describes a mean-spirited, miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge who sits in his counting-house on a frigid Christmas Eve. His clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers in his office because Scrooge refuses to spend money on heating coals for a fire. Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, pays his uncle a visit and invites him to his annual Christmas party. Then enters two overweight gentlemen who drop by and ask Scrooge for a contribution to their charity. Scrooge reacts to the holiday visitors with bitterness and venom, spitting out an angry “Bah! Humbug!” And he responds to his nephew’s “Merry Christmas!” with a complete lack of joy.

Looking at Scrooge it is not uncommon to see people in this same condition. Hearts are cold and very self-focused. A mentality that says, “I will get mine before you get yours and I will even run over you to get it.” However, Following Christ produces a very opposite heart condition. The response to Christmas is one of complete “joy”!

In the Word, the Book of Luke tells us that the shepherds were watching the flocks at night and when an angel of the Lord appeared and told them of the great thing which the Lord had done. “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’ The Savior was born!

These Shepherds are quite different from Scrooge. All their lives they had been told of the prophecy that the Savior would come. How amazed they must have been to know that God chose to include them in the announcement! They were not royalty or of any reputation. Just common Shepherds working with animals: dirty, smelly and unkept. When the angels left them, they went to Bethlehem to see the Savior of the world.

As Christ Followers, we have been included in Gods’ plan too. In fact, the Savior was sent so that we may have life and have it to the full. So that we may know God and be known by him. It should make our heart full as we receive all the joy that comes in knowing Jesus!

The Word says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) This week may our response to Christmas be one of great joy! May we proclaim that joy with, “Merry Christmas!” May we glorify God in the highest and walk in peace as we rest in his favor!

Yvette Perrin can be reached at theword2yvette@