The Gospel in Scrooge

Dear Church Family,

Bah-Humbug!

Those are the famous 2 words spoken by Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character in Charles Dickens’ classic novella, A Christmas Carol. In the beginning part of Dickens’ story, Scrooge accuses Christmas of being a humbug. What exactly is a humbug? Well, I looked up the definition earlier this week. According to the dictionary, a humbug is basically a hoax or an impostor. In other words, for Scrooge, Christmas is a ridiculous holiday that’s not worth celebrating. Of course, as you’ll recall from your memory of the story, Scrooge undergoes a remarkable transformation that leads him to completely change his mind and embrace the Christmas holiday!

I’ve been spending a great deal of time in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as I’ve been putting together the messages for our upcoming preaching series for Advent. The series is called The Gospel in Scrooge. In the series (which starts this weekend!), we’re going to discover how Charles Dickens’ novella beautifully illustrates the gospel of Jesus to us. Here are the messages you can expect.
 
  1. An Unexpected Visit (December 1/2)
  2. The Ghost of Christmas Past (December 8/9)
  3. The Ghost of Christmas Present (December 15/16)
  4. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (December 22/23)
  5. I Haven’t Missed It! (December 24)
Charles Dickens first published A Christmas Carol 175 years ago this year! (The book was first released on December 19, 1843.) It seems fitting to commemorate the anniversary of the book’s release by exploring the theology within its pages. I hope to see you in worship this weekend as we do just that. Our first message will focus on the character of Ebenezer Scrooge as well as his visit with his old business partner, Jacob Marley. Believe it or not, this portion of the story has a lot to teach us about the gospel of Jesus. And if you want to know why, you’ll have to join us for worship to find out!

By the way, when you come to worship this weekend, I’m also going to announce our Advent project. Every Advent (the season leading into Christmas), our congregation seeks to raise money for a cause beyond our church. Last year we raised money for Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico. Two years ago, we raised money for World Bicycle Relief, an organization that provides young women in developing countries with bicycles. Three years ago, we raised money in the global fight against Malaria. Well, this year’s cause is just as important as these other ones. So, keep your ears peeled for the announcement, which will be at the beginning of service.

The last thing I’ll mention is that if you want to join us at Coalition for the Homeless later on today, make sure to meet us in the Publix parking lot at Berry Town Center at 3:00 PM. We will then carpool over together to participate in the feeding.

I hope you have a great Friday, and I look forward to seeing you in worship this weekend!

Blessings,
Chris

PS.  We received the sad news that a beloved member of Community of Faith, Nathalie Rana, passed away on Thursday, November 29th. Information will be shared in the coming days regarding a Celebration of Life Service as the family makes their plans. Please keep them in your prayers as we mourn the loss of our sister in Christ.