|November 23, 2022|
To the faith-filled people of Enfield and beyond –
Advent begins this Sunday, November 27! Our preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus parallels our anticipation in this season of when Jesus will come again. We know when Jesus was born. We do not know when he will come again. As we live during this time
in-between, we have the cycle of the worship seasons to remind us of the certainty of God’s promises to offer grace, mercy and love to all.
Our worship focus during this Advent in 2022 will be on Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey towards redemption in the classic story A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. This story, first written in 1843, continues to capture the imagination of people everywhere. Adaptations of the story in the past 179 years range from versions that adhere strictly to Dicken’s novel, to modern versions like the movie “Spirited” (filmed last year in Massachusetts by the way) that find fresh ways to tell the story. There are silly versions (“The Muppet Christmas Carol”) and serious versions (“A Christmas Carol” in 1984 with George C. Scott as Scrooge).
In every version on stage and screen, television and the written page, Scrooge travels what seems like an impossible journey, from living a life of as a penny-pinching miser to a life lived with trust in the abundance of God. This Advent, through scripture and A Christmas Carol, we will look at how living in God’s economy of grace and justice is the holy opposite of the obsession with money, exclusion and looking out for ourselves. The sound of the clock-tower bells in A Christmas Carol provide a wake-up call for Ebenezer Scrooge, turning him away from his resentment, fear and isolation. Just as God’s presence was born anew into this world in Jesus, we too can be redeemed into renewed life, generosity, humility and love.
I hope you will participate in worship during Advent. The title of the worship series is: Humbug to Hallelujah! – A Journey Towards God’s Grace for Scrooge & Us All. The grace Scrooge accepted, the grace that changed his life, the grace that comes through Jesus – is available to us all. Thanks be to God!
Peace & grace,