Don’t Lose that Christmas Spirit

Giving and Receiving God’s Mercy

Don’t Lose that Christmas Spirit

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At the conclusion of Dickens’ immortal tale "A Christmas Carol", Ebenezer Scrooge awakens from a terrible and frightening dream. Suddenly, this old curmudgeon, known mostly for his bad temper, starts laughing!

He laughs so hard that the neighbors think that he has finally “gone around the bend.” Only yesterday he was muttering, “Bah, humbug!” when people wished him a merry Christmas, and now he is buying a prize turkey for his clerk, making huge donations to charity, and visiting all the relatives he had ignored for years. What happened?

To explain Scrooge’s transformation, we don’t need to look any further than this verse from the Letter of James: “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). Scrooge is a perfect example of the person James is talking about here. He had pursued success and forgotten about other people. He didn’t know how to show mercy—until he understood how much he needed it himself. Seeing a vision of his own death, he pleaded for compassion with the Spirit of Christmas Future. “I am…

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