Charles Dicken's classic novel, "A Christmas Carol" ...
A Christmas Carol is a story of brokenness and redemption. The beginning of the story is dark - the book opens with the words "Marley was dead."
We soon meet Marley, former partner of the main character Ebenezer Scrooge, as a ghost. Marley's ghost promises Scrooge that a trio of ghosts will be visiting him, and the reader is to presume that none of the visits will be pleasant.
Scrooge begins the story as an unrepentant miser whose greed has caused harm to himself and others and ends with him a changed - a redeemed - man. Just as Christ brings light and hope to a world in darkness, the events of A Christmas Carol shine light into the darkness surrounding Scrooge's life, ultimately leading him to embrace the hope, peace, joy, and love we associate with Christmas.
In The Redemption of Scrooge, author and pastor Matt Rawle examines Dicken's classic novel, making connections between the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the story that Christians tell during Advent and Christmas.
In the four weeks of Advent, we will use Rawle's book as daily devotion readings, our Advent Candle lighting and there will be a DVD presentation and discussion in the Adult Sunday School hour.
Come see how we can draw important truths from the past, present, and future about brokenness and redemption and the Advent themes of hope, peace, love, and joy.
I believe this will be a powerful series in the life of our church.
I hope you will plan to read the book daily, take part in our discussions and bring a friend with you that they may participate in the warm fellowship of Delta UMC!
DEC 2: Bah! Humbug!
Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16
Sermon: Living in God's Economy
God's economy is often not the same as the one we embrace, as evidenced in the life of Scrooge.
But if Scrooge can be redeemed, so can we! How can we learn to love and value what God loves and values?
DEC 9: The Remembrance of Christmas Past
Scripture: Luke 4:18
Sermon: Jesus, the Redeemer of Our Past
Scrooge is transported back to the past to remember who he once was. Some of those memories are good, and others are painful, but acknowledging and remembering puts him on the path the redemption.
Jesus came to redeem all aspects of our past.
DEC 16: The Life of Christmas Present
Scripture: Luke 2:8-20
Sermon: The Greatest Gift
Traveling with the Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge's eyes are opened to the poverty of the people who live around him.
The people don't have much, but they are thankful anyway, acknowledging the blessings they have received.
Jesus came to turn our world upside down and to bring a new kingdom, one that goes straight for "the least of these."
DEC 23: The Hope of Christmas Future
Scripture: Revelation 1:4
Sermon: Accepting Christ's Invitation
In his travels with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Scrooge comes face-to-face with his finitude.
We all have fear about the unknowns in our futures, but we can rest in the fact that God holds the future in God's hands, and that God is committed to us.
The birth of Jesus proves God's love and pursuit of us, and so we can accept God's invitation and live confidently in the face of the unknown.