God bless us everyone

Published 11:59 am Saturday, December 16, 2017

by Darnell Whitfield

I have a tradition that I keep every holiday season, and it is to get the decorations all up, plan the Christmas dinner, especially the desserts, and watch Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol.”

I fell in love with the character of Ebenezer Scrooge after reading the book as a child.

I saw the attitude of the world through the exploits of Mr. Scrooge.

His indifference to the plight of the poor and disadvantaged was a real problem and yet it showed the pain of the people that he should have cared for and the love that he lost for mankind, because of his insatiable appetite for the gain of monies.

The sound of coins was more important than the cries of those in need.

When Ebenezer Scrooge was approached by two men who were collecting donations to make sure that the disenfranchised would be taken care of, he asked if the prisons were still running and the poor houses in place.

The answer was yes, though some would rather die than be in those places.

Ebenezer retorted, “If they would rather die then they better get on with it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Published in 1843, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens was about the uncaring attitude of the rich in his time.

Sad to say, the attitude of those whom God has blessed has not changed for the most part, but this is to be expected, for Jesus declared that, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…” Matthew 24:12 (NIV)

When we look at what is happening to the hearts of people, we can see that they are not motivated by love, of which is the foundation of everyone that professes to be child of God.

We all know that we live in a world of sin, but we also need to realize that we don’t have to feed on hate, or disdain of those men, women and children that find themselves in poverty.

I know that we feel good that we were able to buy a child a toy, present a mother with a basket of food for Christmas dinner and even put up a Christmas tree, so that they can get the Christmas spirit, but this is limited love.

Limited love says, ‘I will help because it makes me feel good for the moment,’ and sad to say, after the Christmas lights are taken down, after the dinner is eaten and after the presents are tucked away and forgotten, we forget those in need.

Contrary to the belief of some preachers that people should have perfect health and perfect wealth, the Bible diametrically opposes this, through Jesus Christ, in Matthew 26:11 (NIV) , “The poor you will always have with you.”

Listen, the poor and needy don’t pop up around the holidays and then disappear after the holidays, they are always with us and we need to have a heart that says Christ, Jesus gave his all for me, and in honor of Him I can give some of me to bless someone else.

At the end of the television special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” based on the book by Dr. Seuss, the Grinch went being an evil being who didn’t care about the needs and wants of others to one who had experienced a change of heart with, “Make Christmas more than just a day, make Christmas more a way.”

Hunger, a roof over the head and clothing are needed all year long, so let’s make the Spirit of Christmas a way of life where we take a little of what we have and help those in need.

Let’s make LOVE more than just a word that falls from our tongue with no action attached to it. We must love through word and deeds. Call someone who lives alone and let them know that you’re there.

Bake some cookies and wrap them in wax paper, colored tissue and a ribbon, you won’t believe how great it makes you feel to give to someone.

At the end of “A Christmas Carol,” the narrator stated that, “Scrooge became a better man.”

Let’s become the best that we can by living as Christ would have us live by showing love and compassion to a dark and hateful world, let’s become a better man, a better woman and make a better world for others, for in doing so we make a better world for ourselves!

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:37-40 (NIV)

In the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us, everyone!”

DARNELL WHITFIELD is senior pastor of Diamond Grove Baptist Church in Franklin. Contact him at 742-1343 or revwhitfield@me.com.