Christmas Present

I am thinking about Christmas Present today. Our family attended a dress rehearsal presentation of A Christmas Carol by Tulsa’s American Theatre Company last week. This was made possible for us by Circle of Care Ministries. Circle of Care provides foster care and benevolent ministries through churches across Oklahoma. This is the ATC’s 44th season to present this classic story. The actors and scenery at Tulsa’s Performing Arts Center were delightful. I am always struck by the theme woven by Charles Dickens showing how money and materialism can destroy true joy and the best that life has to offer. The ghost of Christmas Present stole the show. 

This is the time of year when we dwell on traditions and memories for our Christmases past, those both white and blue. The white Christmas memories involve smiles and wonder. Blue Christmases reflect loss and melancholy. We can have both kinds mixed together. It is the power of Christmas Present that we often overlook until it is too late. Are we open to the Present in the present moment, or are we too stressed and preoccupied? Is Christmas Present about the presents or something more important? Dickens’ point about Christmas Present is—it will change our Christmas Future.  Our futures are always shaped by our actions of today. The treadmill of the holiday season can be wearisome. Friends, relatives, and strangers can be treated unkindly or taken for granted. Blessings of today can be overlooked in the rush to an illusive Christmas mirage. Take time for Christmas Present. Relax, breathe, and take in all in. Listen to the ones you are with. Share with those who have less. Spend time with the Christ of Christmas.

In this year’s production, Christmas Present would sprinkle pinches of colorful glitter on the dower and grumpy and suddenly they would bubble over with joy and delight. Even old Scrooge acted silly when the glitter came his way. He saw he could experience a joyful Christmas. But, of course, it was the dreadful Christmas Future that he had created for himself and everyone around him that brought Scrooge to his knees in repentance of a life wrongly lived. He wanted a second chance to do things right. He begged for a chance to change his future and the future of everyone around him. That’s what a genuine Christmas Present can do for us.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Open the Present. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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