“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”
So ends Charles Dickens' famous story,
A Christmas Carol. Dickens, of course, is speaking here of Ebenezer Scrooge, after his Christmas Eve conversion that led him to start loving his neighbor.
The redeemed Scrooge is no longer the penny-pinching miser who faults Bob Cratchit for burning too much coal in the office stove, nor begrudges him a day off work on Christmas. The new Scrooge sends a Christmas goose to the Cratchit family and pays Tiny Tim's doctor bills.
He is, in every way, a new man.
The newly-lit flame that now burns in his heart is the fire of love. And isn't the birth - or rebirth - of love into our world what Christmas is all about?
We come to know love most perfectly in Jesus Christ. And so it is appropriate that our New Testament lesson this First Sunday after Christmas is
, which includes this line: "
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."
No doubt many of us opened Christmas presents that included articles of clothing: a new sweater, perhaps, or a tie or a warm pair of gloves. There's something about putting on a new article of clothing that makes us feel renewed.
That's what this verse from Colossians is all about. When we "put on" love, our lives are changed for the better. Much like that old rascal, Ebenezer Scrooge.
Let's gather, this Sunday, on the last Sunday before a new year, to consider the many ways we can put on love like a new garment in the year to come!