A Carol for Change

Devotional Archive

Day 20 - December 16, 2022

A Carol for Change

There are two people who are featured in the pages of the Advent lectionary: John the Baptist and Mary the Blessed Mother. The Archangel Gabriel, said to be one of the most beautiful of God’s angels, greeted Mary by saying, “The Lord is with you. You will conceive and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.” Luke 1:31 NRSV

In Advent we wait, as John the Baptist waited for the Messiah, as Mary waited for her baby, we wait for our Savior. We can imagine the stars themselves getting ready. How do we wait and prepare ourselves for the joy of Christmas?

What about looking at Charles Dickens, who in his 19th century Christmas Carol, was giving us more than a story, but also a morality play? Dicken’s London was a grim place to live in, especially for the poor. As we all know, in the Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is the character that is given a chance to change before the day of Christmas.

Dickens writes: “He was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! A wrenching, clutching, covetous old sinner! Solitary as an oyster.”

Scrooge tells his nephew, “What’s Christmas but a time for paying bills without money?”

Three ghosts come to haunt Scrooge, the first one his former partner Marley, who is dragging the chains of past sins.

“At this time of the rolling year,” the specter Marley said, “I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? “

We know that the ghosts convince Scrooge to better his life, and just in time, before Christmas day, he does just that. He transforms into a gentleman much loved in London.

At every Eucharist we attend, we say in the Our Father, “forgive us our sins, as we forgive the sins of others.” Maybe we all love the Christmas Carol because of its message that we can, with prayer, change. Then we can joyfully say, along with Dickens and Tiny Tim: “God Bless us All, Everyone” on Christmas morning.

by Rev. Mary Donovan

Make our hearts ready, oh King of Glory.

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