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Posts Tagged ‘Scrooge’

Verse 35: “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

The Lone Ranger.
Robin Hood.
Zorro.
The Lorax.

Now, at first glance, you might look at this list and think “one of these things is not like the other.” Not true. The first 3 literary heroes did defend the weak, the poor, and the defenseless. The Lorax did, too: remember what he always told the Once-ler? “I speak for the trees!” He was their vocal defender to a guy who was only determined to make a fast buck off the luxurious Truffula trees. The Lorax spoke for those who couldn’t speak for themselves. (Thank you, Dr. Seuss!)

In early church times, it was supposed to be the church that supported the weak. It was supposed to the be the church’s duty to care for those that society forgets. Nowadays, everyone would argue it should be some form of governmental department or independent charity that should do it. This is incorrect; the church should be the ones to do it. Large buildings to hold Sunday worship services are nice, but that’s not the church’s main priority. Besides spreading the Gospel, it was to help and to minister…and it still is the church’s mission to do that. Paul was reminding the church elders of this.

For those who grew up watching Mickey’s Christmas Carol, I always smiled knowingly when Scrooge tells Bob Cratchit “what’s this world coming to, Cratchit? You work all your life to get money! And people want you to give it away!” How much fun it is after the visits of the 3 spirits and Scrooge’s change to see the old miser happily stuffing the pockets of the charity seekers whom he chased out of his office before! Jesus said it best in the verse: “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.

Everyone has something to give.

Something to think about.

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Verse 14: “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

The more I watch the TNT 1999 movie adaptation of A Christmas Carol (starring Patrick Stewart), the more I appreciate the little touches that I have not seen in other screen adaptations.

Case in point: while the Ghost of Christmas Future is showing the covered face of the dead man that Scrooge has been witnessing people talk callously about, Scrooge becomes distraught, asking the spirit to show him someone who has some emotion about the man (we of course know the dead man is Scrooge himself). The spirit shows him a young woman deep in thought about a heavy debt she and her husband owe, and how they would pay it; the husband comes with news that the man who owns the debt is dead, and the debt tied up in the courts. For now, they owe nothing, and have a chance to save the money. As they embrace, the overcome wife states that she never thought a death would bring her happiness.

Paul here is telling the Colossians how Jesus paid our sin debt for us and took it away. The translation I have been using is the New King James, and it was the words “handwriting of requirements” that caught my eye. Out of curiosity, here are some other descriptions of that phrase from other translations, courtesy of the Bible Gateway website (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians%202:14):
NIV – “having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness”
NASB – “having canceled out the certificate of debt”
KJV – “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances”
ESV – “by canceling the record of debt”
Good News Translation – “he canceled the unfavorable record of our debts”

Regardless of what translation you choose, Jesus took the debt we owed, an official, non-deniable, legal debt of sin, and paid it for us. It was a debt we deserved and we owed, yet He loved us enough to pay it in our stead…freeing us. The payment: His death on a cross. But unlike the young couple in A Christmas Carol, the death here was not the end of the story…our happiness, our joy is because He rose and He lives!

Something to think about.

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