The Ghost of Christmas Present

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

(Romans 8:22-25)

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The Ghost of Christmas Past

If you’ve never read Charles Dickens’ seasonal classic, A Christmas Carol, you’re missing out, my friend. (And no, watching the Mickey version doesn’t count. You don’t get, for instance, things like this: “Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know … what there is particularly dead about a door-nail.” And that’s just in the first two paragraphs. It’s a hilarious piece of work.) The miserly Scrooge is haunted on Christmas Eve by three ghosts in an effort to save his soul. They do their jobs well, and he is a changed man ever after (or duck, if you do watch the Mickey version).

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