I love Christmas. The joyous music, the time with family and friends, decorating the house – I love it all. I especially enjoy watching Christmas movies, specifically, the ones where hearts are changed – Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, Family Man, even How The Grinch Stole Christmas! But my favorite is A Christmas Carol .
Scrooge is a miserable man. A man who finds no joy in his possessions, or his family, or anything in his life. But on Christmas Day, after he has been visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, he is changed. Thrilled with his chance at a new life he has a new-found appreciation of the world. He takes pleasure in a conversation with a young boy. He notices the beautiful day. The children’s choir sounds “like angels” to him and he declares it “glorious music”. He looks forward to having dinner with his nephew. He even enjoys making a large donation to charity.
All of these opportunities for joy had existed in the days, and even the years, before this Christmas day, but he refused to see them. Now, though the world is no different, he sees that his life is filled with people to love and gifts to appreciate.
Now, he knows he is blessed and it changes everything.
We do the same today. We have in our minds the way our lives should look, how our prayers should be answered, and we hold the fulfillment of our longings as the only means to our happiness. Our focus is so narrow and our desire for control so great, that we frequently miss the joy that could be ours. But if we open our hands and hearts to the unexpected gifts around us, we see we are already blessed.
And because we know that Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, we must confess: We are blessed by the hand of God.
There’s an important side effect to realizing you are blessed by Love: Those who know they are blessed, bless others.
The praises we offer to God fill our hearts with overflowing joy. We leak hope and love.
It doesn’t change the fact that there are trials or tragedies in this life. But those who know they are blessed bless others by extending the gift that was given to them – Love. We bring the Love that was poured on us by offering our support, our presence, and our prayers. And it changes the world for the better.
At the end of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge has changed so much he is well-known for embodying the spirit of Christmas.
Those of us who know we are blessed, desire for God to be known as we bless others.
Scripture References: James 1:17; 1 John 4:8