Summary: Mine is a sermon adaptation of SermonCentral contributor Jeffery Russell’s sermon “The Scrooge In All of Us.” It uses Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to illustrate the sermon.
A. There’s a story told of a middle-aged woman who had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital.
1. While on the operating table she had a near death experience.
2. During that experience she saw God and asked Him if this was it for her, was she dead.
3. God said no and explained that she has another 30 years to live.
4. Well, after her recovery she decided to just stay in the hospital and have a face lift, liposuction, and a tummy tuck. She also had a hairstylist come to the hospital and change her hair color and style.
5. She figured that since she’s got another 30 years she might as well make the most of it.
6. When she had recovered from all of this work, she walked out of the hospital and was run over by a car racing by.
7. When she arrived in heaven, the woman approached God and said, “I thought you said I had another 30 years to live!”
8. God replied, “I’m sorry, I just didn’t recognize you.”
B. Today I want us to be filled with hope as we realize that God is able to bring us to a place of conversion and transformation that will make us unrecognizable to others, in some respects.
1. Jesus came into the world to seek and to save the lost.
2. He came to bring us abundant and eternal life.
3. Through the power of God Himself, anyone can be converted and transformed – that is the good news of the Gospel.
C. As you know, I really love the Christmas holiday season.
1. I love the sights and the sounds.
2. I love the family traditions and gatherings.
3. And most of all, I love the fact that the birth of Christ is brought to the forefront in many people’s thinking.
4. I am fully aware that we do not know the exact date of Christ’s birth, nor are we specifically commanded to have a special celebration in honor of the birth of Christ.
5. But I believe with all my heart that God the Father is pleased with any attention we give to His Son, Christ Jesus.
6. And to miss the opportunity of this season by not pointing people’s attention to Christ would be a tragic loss of opportunity.
7. Therefore, at this time of year, I do my best to point our attention to the coming of Christ into the world.
D. But I have to admit that it is not easy to return to this familiar story, year after year.
1. You might feel that you are so familiar with the story that you don’t need to take another look.
2. That’s why I try to be creative each year to help us see the story anew.
3. This year I want to do a short series of three lessons that all have Christmas season themes.
4. I’ve borrowed the idea for the series from others I’ve seen do series like this.
5. I’m calling the short, three-part series “Christmas Classics.”
6. We will be using three classic Christmas season movies to illustrate the spiritual ideas we will address.
E. I’ve titled today’s sermon “A Christmas Conversion” and we will use Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol as our illustration.
1. Our brother, Tracy Cochran, should be delivering this lesson, because he’s the biggest fan I know of this Dickens story.
2. Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol in 1843 (that’s 165 years ago).
3. Since its first publication, it has been adapted for theatre, film, television, radio, and opera countless times.
4. The various adaptations have included straightforward retellings, modernizations, parodies and sequels.
5. I was surprised to discover that the story has been adapted into as many as 200 films.
6. We won’t go through all of them, but let’s see how many of these film adaptations you have seen::
a. A Christmas Carol (1938), starring Reginald Owen as Scrooge and Gene Lockhart and Kathleen Lockhart as the Cratchits.
b. Scrooge (1951) Ebenezer Scrooge played by Alastair Sim.
c. Scrooge (1970), a musical film adaptation starring Albert Finney as Scrooge and Alec Guinness as Marley’s Ghost. (later you will see a picture of Alec playing Marley’s ghost)
d. Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), an animated short film featuring the various Walt Disney characters, with Scrooge McDuck fittingly playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.
e. Scrooged (1988), a remake in a contemporary setting with Bill Murray.
f. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), featuring the various Muppet characters, with Michael Caine as Scrooge.
g. A Christmas Carol (1997), an animated production featuring the voice of Tim Curry as Scrooge as well as the voices of Whoopi Goldberg, Michael York and Ed Asner.
h. And most recently, Barbie in a Christmas Carol (2008), is a computer animated adaptation featuring Barbie.