Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Christmas Carol

I have many favorite Christmas movies and Christmas shows that put me in the holiday spirit each year.  Everything from The Nativity Story, to It's a Wonderful Life, to Frosty the Snowman, to A Charlie Brown Christmas, to White Christmas, to While You Were Sleeping, to Miracle on 34th Street and many more play in my home in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas.

A Christmas Carol -- any version -- has never become a tradition in my Holiday movie enjoyment... but the story of A Christmas Carol remains as dear to my heart as the story of the nativity itself.

I do not watch A Christmas Carol every year, or read the book annually (although I did listen to the audio book this year and enjoyed it immensely), but whenever I come upon A Christmas Carol, or deliberately read or watch the story, I am transported to memory as clear to me as this morning, and as important to my life as the Easter story.

When I was a little girl -- around age nine or ten, I was back in my parents' bedroom watching television while my parents hosted a dinner party.  It was late January or February, which I remember because, when I came upon A Christmas Carol on television, I was surprised given that Christmas was over a month past.

I kept watching A Christmas Carol, a story I knew well, and enjoyed it very much.  I thought I was simply enjoying a television show, but I didn't know the upcoming realization that would change my life.

With the Ghost of Christmas Future, when Mr. Scrooge timidly and fearfully walks to the headstone and discovers his own name, in this production of A Christmas Carol, Mr. Scrooge didn't simply pledge to honor Christmas in his heart keep it all year, in this production, he sought forgiveness from the Lord and asked Jesus into his heart.

At this point in the production, the stage went dark and a minister came on the screen and did an alter call for those who also wanted to invite Jesus into their hearts.

I had asked Jesus into my heart years before, and went to church several times a week; however, during this production, I KNEW, I understood, for the first time that Jesus died for ME.

I will never forget that moment -- a revelation like I had never experienced.

I actually went out to the kitchen in my pajamas, with tears streaming down my face and interrupted my mom from her dinner party because I had to tell her that Jesus died for ME.  I told her, "I've always known he did... but Mom, he died for ME!"

Not every version of A Christmas Carol includes Mr. Scrooge inviting Jesus into his life, but for me, every version reminds me of that beautiful night when the Lord used that one version of A Christmas Carol to reveal, in my heart, His love for ME.

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