Third Sunday of Advent: Youth

A Christmas Carol

Third Sunday Meditation for Youth

By Linda Martindale

One of the Christmas stories I love is called simply A Christmas Carol. Written by Charles Dickens in Victorian England, it tells the story of a man named Ebenezer Scrooge who didn’t believe in Christmas.  In fact, he was so mean that he made people work at Christmas.  That is until the year that he was visited by his dead business partner, Jacob Marley. 

Marley had been just like Scrooge – money before the true meaning of Christmas.  Now, he wore chains. His message to Scrooge was simply this.  You will be visited by three ghosts tonight and if you don’t change you will suffer my fate.  The fate was to be chained for life to the misery of the world.

Now Scrooge didn’t believe, at least not a first.  Then he was awakened by the first of the three ghosts.    The First, Christmas Past, showed him scenes from his childhood and youth.  It was joyous.  He celebrated.  He had friends and family that he didn’t treat shabbily.  The next ghost, that of Christmas Present, showed him what his actions had done and what kind of lives his employee, Bob Cratchitt, and Bob’s family had.  He saw his clerk’s family barely getting by and their very sick son, Tiny Tim.  He saw his nephew and wife celebrating with their friends.  His nephew‘s wife even told all that she had known Scrooge wouldn’t come.  The final Ghost was of Christmas Future.  Scrooge had died.  No one came to pay their respects except his nephew and his family.  He saw his employee’s Christmas but there was no Tiny Tim.  When he asked about Tiny Tim, the Ghost of Christmas Future, who didn’t speak, just shook his head.

Ebenezer woke up from the dream and found out that it was Christmas morning.  He went down and started spreading the Christmas spirit that Christ would want him to spread.  He woke up the butcher and order a nice fat goose for his employee, Bob Cratchit.  He went back and dressed up and set out for his nephew’s house.  He went in as a grump but suddenly, the true Christmas spirit shown and  he gave gifts to all in attendance.  The book tells us that he surprised everyone with his Christmas spirit.  We also learn that Ebenezer never forgot and always kept Christmas in his heart.  And little Tiny Tim, well Scrooge help Bob Cratchit take care of the boy and watched him as he grew up.

This year seems to have made Christmas extremely different for us.  Some of my friends consider it a Scrooge year (or better yet the Grinch year).  So maybe we should adopt a more positive attitude than Ebenezer Scrooge.  Maybe we should look for the good in this year.  Let’s try this.

For our Ghost of Christmas Past – remember the good things and fun stuff you have done in the past.

For our Ghost of Christmas Present – think of the good and not the bad.  Sure, we may not be with our friends, but don’t turn into a Scrooge.  Share smiles, phone calls or socially distanced season visits. 

And for our Ghosts of Christmas Future – let’s look at how next year we can celebrate with love and joy.  We will, hopefully, be back together with no sign of a virus and can celebrate with parties, music and song.  But most important of all, we need to adopt the true meaning of Christmas just like Scrooge.  Here is my take:  Jesus came to give us joy.  Look for the good in every situation and for the best.  With this, maybe, just maybe the season will seem a little brighter.

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