Summary: A sermon based upon the story of Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ "Christmas Carol". Let the Holy Spirit reveal your past, present and future.
A Christian Carol
Sunday, December 18, 2005 – AM
By Pastor Jim May
Let us take a journey this morning. It’s a journey that will begin right where you are now, for where else can we really begin? Today I want us to think of one of the greatest works of literature, penned by Charles Dickens, and known by each of us as “A Christmas Carol”. It is one of my favorite stories based upon the time of Christmas, and in it you can see all of the reasons that Jesus came to this earth as a baby in a manger.
Galatians 4:3-7, "Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."
Is there anyone here this morning that can identify with old Mr. Scrooge? Please don’t raise your hand. It isn’t necessary because there is no doubt in my mind that every one of us can relate to this character. Let me explain what I mean.
When this story begins we can find Mr. Scrooge, sitting in his place of business, pouring over his books with a scowl on his face. He only lifts his eyes from the columns of figures long enough to glance over at his accountant, Bob Crachit, with a distrustful eye, wanting to make sure that he was getting his work done. There was no charity in Mr. Scrooge. He expected a full day’s work for the money he paid and he would see to it that he would get all he could.
I don’t know exactly what Scrooge’s business was. I’ve seen the movie several times and read the book, but I don’t think it was ever really clearly stated. I assume that he was into banking, or the loan and finance business. Whatever his business was, Scrooge was known by everyone as the biggest miser in town. No one like him and he didn’t seem to like anyone else.
I have always imagined him as a sort of loan shark. Perhaps that’s the reason that he had become so cynical over the years. There is nothing in the world that will ruin friendships or destroy relationships any quicker than the borrowing and owing of money.
1 Timothy 6:6-10, "…godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
I believe that I can say that all of us here love money to some degree. Oh, you can say that you don’t love it, but I don’t think that there would be a single person here who would turn down the gift of a bundle of cash if it were offered to us with no strings attached. Some of us might try to skirt the issue by saying, “I don’t love the money. I love what it can buy.” Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news for you, but there’s no difference between the money and the material things it can get for you.” The fact is that you could substitute “ worldly, possessions, and the desire for a better lifestyle” in the place of “money” and the meaning would be the same. It’s not the money per se, but the desire for something other than God. Anything that we desire more than Him becomes our God. Money just happens to be the medium by which we can have all the other things we want in life.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that we all need money and there’s nothing wrong with seeking a better life, as long as those things don’t come between the Lord and us. And, while I am on this subject, let me also say that if you really hate your money and you want to get rid of it, let me know and I’ll take it off your hands and dispose of it for you very quickly so that it won’t be a source of temptation for you.