I am so excited that Advent starts on Sunday! You see, I am one of those people. I love this season. I am, after all, a December baby so I just can’t get enough of this time of year. There are signs all around us that Christmas is coming. I was one of the brave people who went out on Black Friday and let me tell you, stores were ready to remind everyone that Christmas is coming. Santa is already available for visits at the local mall, people are putting up their Christmas tree, and presents are being bought.
In my house, the tradition that signals that Christmas is coming is when we put up the Christmas tree and stockings and fill the Advent calendar. My son, Dean, helped me put up the Christmas tree this week and decorate it and only two ornaments were destroyed in the process, but for me and for Dean there was something magical about lighting the tree and seeing all the ornaments which all hold special meeting.
I am sure that you also have signs in your life and your family that Christmas is coming. What a beautiful and joyful season this is! Sometimes this season can pass us by so quickly because there seems to be so much to do and so many activities to attend. So, in worship each week, we mark the coming of Christ with the Advent wreath, with Christmas carols, and special prayers, and Scripture that points to the fact that our “redemption is coming near” (Luke 21:28b).
This is what our Advent Sermon Series on “The Redemption of Scrooge” by Matt Rawle is all about. This book goes through the beloved story “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and follows Scrooge on his journey to find redemption. The premise of this book is if Scrooge can find redemption, then so can we.
There is something about this story, “A Christmas Carol” that resounds with each and every one of us. I think it is because it intertwines that past, present, and future. Matt Rawle tells us this is what Advent is all about; he says, during this season “we recall the events leading up to Jesus’ birth two thousand years ago, we anticipate the ways in which Christ enters our lives today and we look forward to Christ’s promised return.”[i]
During Advent we become nostalgic as we remember family traditions from the past, we participate in events in the present, and we look towards the future of the second coming of Christ.
So we are on our way on to the first Sunday in Advent and we prepare once again for Christ to come and enter our hearts. And as we journey with Scrooge to redemption I hope that each and every one of you is able to find hope, love, joy, and peace during this very busy season.
I hope you can come on Sunday to experience the beauty of this season.
Christ our hope, we thank you that you continue to offer us redemption. Help us to let go of our past regrets so that we can truly enjoy this beautiful season as we anticipate your coming. Help us to identity those who are struggling this season and reach out to them, that we too, may be bearers of your hope. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
[i] Matt Rawle. The Redemption of Scrooge Leader Guide. Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN, 2016. P. 16 & 17.
Image used with permission upon purchase of “The Redemption of Scrooge” Leader Kit