The Ghost of Christmas Present: A Journey Into Joy

The Ghost of Christmas Present: A Journey Into Joy

From the prison to the poor-house, Scrooge discovers what life requires of us who have been given so much.  He also learns what life exacts from others when we hoard our resources and live from a place of scarcity rather than abundance.

The opening scene of Stave Three introduces us to the Ghost of Christmas Present.  Dickens invites the reader to imagine a lavish feast at a King’s table. A table overflowing with bounty and abundance.

Upon entering the room, Scrooge casts his eyes on The Ghost of Christmas Present.  This Ghost doesn’t enter Scrooge’s bedroom.  Instead, he settles into to Scrooges living area – fills it with his abundant presence – and invites Scrooge to join him.

Indeed, abundance extended to one is an abundance designed to be shared with all.

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Wanting to Extinguish What Must Be Explored, Pt. 2

Wanting to Extinguish What Must Be Explored, Pt. 2

I remember the moment when my calling to minister within a congregational context solidified its hold on me.

As I recall, it was a moment filled with complexity and confusion.  It was a moment that required soul-searching prayer and heart-piercing surrender.

The prayer and surrender piece took all night.

Yes.

It was a chilly wintry evening, really down-right cold.

I was a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, entering my final three semesters, preparing to pursue a Ph.D. with plans to enter the academic world and build my career as a teacher/writer.

I was also a volunteer youth leader for an organization called Young Life.

One evening, after a bitterly cold (but beautiful) outing with our Young Life Club, I entered my dorm room, peeled off layer after layer of clothing, and then collapsed to the floor.

The collapse lead to an entire night of prayer and seeking.

A night in which Christ would resolve the tension I’d been unwilling to name!

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The Ghost of Christmas Past: Wanting to Extinguish What Must Be Explored

The Ghost of Christmas Past: Wanting to Extinguish What Must Be Explored

Everything about the Ghost of Christmas Past is exceptional.

Everything.

While televised renditions attempt to capture its essence, all of them fail – some miserably so.

But, of course, how could they not?

The Ghost that Haunts Us All

Dickens imagines a complex and contradictory apparition.  Conveying the essence of the Ghost of Christmas Past is like trying to describe an ancient, angelic being.  The kind of being lodged in the bowels of Apocalyptic books like Daniel or Ezekiel.

The mythical appearance of the apparition serves as a stark reminder that the portions of our past we are unwilling to name will always fill us with fear and leave us conflicted.  These unnamed and unknown realms of our personal history hold us captive in ways we’re often unable to identify.

Scrooge’s journey with the Ghost of Christmas Past represents the journey we all ought to take.  As such, the Ghost of Christmas Past teaches Scrooge a lesson we all need to learn!

It’s a journey into the unnamed past that inexplicably haunts our present.

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Three Reflections from my Evening Spent with a Ghost

Three Reflections from my Evening Spent with a Ghost

It’s customary for our family to watch Holiday specials during this time of year.

It’s also equally customary – for me – to plead with my wife and daughter to resist the urge to search for these specials on the Hallmark channel.

Thankfully, removing Hallmark from the list of options leaves us with wide a wide assortment of Christmas classics that bear the test of time.

We rarely, as a family, agree on which Christmas special to watch.

Last night was no different.

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