Every year about this time I love to read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I really enjoy reading the familiar story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the visit by the ghosts who show him who he was, what he is now, and what his future could hold. But it’s not just about the three spirits (in addition to Jacob Marley), it’s pity for Tiny Tim and an awareness of the struggle of the Cratchit family as well as the reality of the estrangement Scrooge has with his nephew. Awareness is what the story is really all about and how much an awareness of the plight of others and the reality of our own callousness can transform our lives. As Christians we live with the awareness that the world is not as it should be; for many there is the struggle for justice, there is the absence of peace, and there is the experience of broken lives and shattered dreams. For some of us, this reality is something that our negligence has caused for ourselves, others endure having it forced upon them. Hope is the expectation of a reality we can’t fully see but trust to be true in time. No matter what today looks like, what you struggle with, what unfulfilled longing you carry, or what mistakes burden you, we hope that God will transform today into a better tomorrow with our perseverance. It doesn’t take the visit of three ghosts to bring this change about; God has already done the work and will fulfill the promise of life in and with God. For us, the challenge is to live as best we can with one another in hope and an awareness of what transformation can happen now. May this week be an occasion for you to find meaning in perseverance with Jesus who is with you in the struggles of the moment, as well as hope for the promise of fulfillment of for life together.
For those of you with exams to take this week, good luck. Let us know if you need help, or a friendly ear to listen to you cry/yell/celebrate.
O Lord, support those taking examinations and help them make the most of the knowledge they possess; grant them confidence, steadiness, honesty, and a quiet mind. Amen.