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    Youth & Families Intern
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    Administrative Assistant
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    Assistant Pastor, Shepherding & Young Families
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    Director, Children's Ministry
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    Director, Nursery
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    Director, Community Development
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All That Is Fair: Just Like Scrooge

When I was a kid, Christmas was always exciting.  I imagined all the things I would ask for and what I might get under the tree.  It was almost too much for me to take.  That whole “visions of sugarplums” thing can be overwhelming at times (what is a sugarplum anyway?)  I’d get so filled with anticipation that the day itself could never live up to the image in my mind of how Christmas morning would play out.  And, more often than not I was disappointed with my “yield” at the end of the day.  Some years were better than others.  The year I got my first electric guitar from my dad was definitely a banner year.  But either way, Christmas came and then it went and I was left with sort of an empty feeling. 

One of the things that we always used to do as a family was go and see Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Theater Memphis.  I loved it.  Every year it was the same but I loved it.  Ebenezer Scrooge is a hard hearted miser who treats everyone he meets with contempt.  At first, the audience hates him, then the story shows us his past.  It shows us that at one time his heart was soft.  He experiences disappointment and is left disillusioned and alone.  In typical Scrooge fashion, he pours himself into guarding his possessions, the only things that have never betrayed him.  But in the process, he loses his charity and becomes isolated.  Everyone he once loved, he shuns in favor of his stuff.  That’s when the story gets good.  He gets the opportunity to look inside his own heart and see how hard it really is.  Seeing himself, Scrooge is broken with remorse, and he turns from his hatred to embrace the cheerfulness of giving, and begins to love his neighbor again.

The empty feeling that would come over me after Christmas always made me see how easy it was for Scrooge to end up the way he was.  All it takes is a little disenchantment.  Then my heart could easily become bitter and closed.  I think that’s true for all of us.  Thankfully, however, Jesus came to us and affords us the opportunity to see the Scrooge in our own hearts.  Because he walks with us through our situation, we don’t have to fall prey to the anticipation and the inevitable letdown of placing our joy in the wrong things.  So it’s my prayer for myself, my family, my church, that we would be receptive to the work of Jesus around us and in us.  Anytime we feel the rising anticipation start to stir, we can redirect it to the right things.  And end up just like Scrooge.