I remember when I took my kids to Disney World many years ago. We were only there for a day attempting to ‘take it all in’. The clock was ticking. It was hot & exhausting. But when we came to that final hour before we were to leave the park, nobody wanted to leave early. In fact, we rushed, as quickly as possible to get in that final ride on the Rockin’ Roller Coaster.
Scrooge, who had by all indications wasted his life; found out, even in his later years, that it is never too late to change course, and live differently. Each visitation reminded him, that there are consequences to how you live your life in the present. He learned the lesson we all need to live at Christmas & year round. It’s not all about me!! My life has a higher call & purpose. Poverty, hunger & disease will not be dealt with by a casual Christianity. (Think Tiny Tim)
The truth is, we are all aware that this present won’t last forever. Psalm 90:10..”the length of our days is 70 or 80 years, if we have the strength”. Those years sure disappear quickly, like Disney World. But what do they mean if they’re not leading to anything? They become mundane & routine.
I would imagine that the shepherds on that lonely night felt the same. It was just another day of dirty, smelly sheep. But God showed up! And when He did, they didn’t wait. They hurried to Bethlehem. (you can read the story in the New Testament: Luke 2)
Like Scrooge & the shepherds, there is this moment God gives us. Christmas! When we think … I should go. I should experience the hope of Christmas. I should find this Jesus who’s come for me. That is where the meaning & value & purpose come from.
Dave Wenrich is Pastor at Boston Harbor Community Church located at 9 Salutation Street in Boston’s North End.