“Marley was dead: to begin with. There was no doubt about that whatever.”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Ah, the season of Advent, Christmas, and New Year! The goal is certainly joy, fun, and excitement!  Linda and I have begun to put up the lights and to trim the tree. We’ve also started watching the Christmas movies: It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, The Family Stone, and The Santa Claus. One we also always watch is the 1894 version of A Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott (as well as the Muppets version).

Along with all the lights and excitement, Advent and Christmas are also a time to slow down and to remember the story of redemption. Our faith is that The Christ Child was born on Christmas Day to redeem the world! You’re invited to an Advent study to talk about Dickens’ story – a heartwarming account of how this redemption might look. It’s a story about redeeming Scrooge’s heart from a life centered on self to a life filled with the joy of experiences of friendship, compassion, benevolence, grace, and mercy. I hope you’ll join me and others on Thursdays or Sundays to talk about Dickens’ story in light of The Christ Story.

During Advent, I’ll be preaching around the theme of the redemption of Scrooge. We’ll start with the simple need for redemption … a need to change that “Bah, humbug!” into a “Merry Christmas!” Each week thereafter, we’ll learn from Christmases past, present, and future. Each week, we’ll also bring in a couple of hymns that support the theme. Finally, on Christmas Eve, we’ll celebrate the redemptive work of God --- all that God has done and all that God offers through the love of the one born lowly and lying in a manger.

I pray that you will join the discussion groups. Our sharing will help to inform my preaching the following Sunday. I also pray that you will be at worship and bring someone or encourage someone to be at worship with you.

Let us observe a faithful, joyous, and redemptive Advent and Christmas this year as Christ is born among us again! Oh, and I also want to remind you to gather for dinner and Charge Conference next Thursday. Let’s gather to celebrate our life together as the body of Christ! Please be there!

Blessings to all,
Pastor Bob
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