One of the most beloved tales in English literature is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. Charles Dickens’ timeless story was created as a commentary on society at that time and helped create enduring Christmas traditions. While I never really connected it to the Christian story of Christmas, I believe that there are some unexpected parallels. The message of a Christmas Carol was about charity, love and aiding the poor souls that filled the streets of London. Scrooge was chastised dramatically for not being charitable towards them. He ultimately had a rebirth of character, prompting an incredible change in Scrooge.
While the Dickens story might be nice and socially challenging, what does it have to do with the birth of God Incarnate? The first Advent (ie, appearing) of our Lord was a way of bringing the Kingdom of God crashing into the world. As Jesus took on His earthly ministry, He challenged the way many of His listeners thought about wealth. He told people to sell all that they had and come after Him. Others rectified their financially corrupt dealings and served Jesus. He warned the wealthy that the accumulation of wealth very well could cost them their own life.
I believe that Jesus is saying this because people who have been given a lot will be required to live an amply abundant Kingdom life. In one’s luxury, hopefully their generosity and charity has not been neglected. The Kingdom of God is about the flipping of the world’s powers on its proverbial head. Those that are oppressed shall indeed be empowered and liberated. The Kingdom is not just about personal salvation, but about societal reckoning. It is about putting the world to right. The first Advent of Jesus ushered this in and the second Advent will implement it fully.
I don’t know about you, but quite honestly these sayings of Jesus are tough and truly convict me to the core!