… not quite by Charles Dickens
Marley is dead. So is Scrooge. Even Tiny Tim, who lived to see his 71st year, has passed. It is, don’t you know, the year 2017. More than 150 winters have come and gone since Charles Dickens brought to life the three ghosts of Christmas and their lessons on charity and love.
We don’t believe in ghosts these days. Ours is the age of knowledge, intellect is what we believe in and the hero of this story is no exception. Meet Lukas W. Arm. His friends call him Luke. God calls him LukeWarm.
Let me make clear from the start that LukeWarm is a harder nut to crack than Scrooge ever was. Scrooge had a cold heart that shattered at the sight of a ghost and a glimpse of a miserable future. But LukeWarm is not touched by ghosts and such tomfoolery. His heart is the master of deception, immune to self-doubt and afraid of nothing in its warped sense of truth.
You see, LukeWarm appears to be a good man, a righteous and religious man. At Christmas, he gladly buys a coat to keep a poor child warm. He puts coins in the bucket of the Salvation Army with a smile. He thanks God for his good and well-deserved fortune. He sings carols, he invites the neighbors, he reads the Christmas story of the Bible to his wife and children. Yes, Lukas W. Arm seems to keep Christmas well.
No point in sending him a ghost.
Instead, God sends him a child. Christmas after Christmas, God sends him a child. An infant, helpless and sweet, humble and real, tugging at Lukewarm’s heartstrings.
Oh, won’t you listen, LukeWarm? Won’t you hear the voice of God begging you to love Him? Nothing more. Just love Him. Don’t go through the motions of Christmas this year. Look at the child, lock eyes and hearts with Him, see the gaping hole in your soul and listen to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. All is not well with you. Look beyond your lukewarm heart and see its icy-cold core. And then, just like Scrooge, let it melt: “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year!”
It starts with a child. God’s child. God’s love. He asks for nothing else in return and everything else will fall into place because of it. Faith, worship, awe, obedience, strength, peace, joy – they all follow love. None come before.
It is through His child that God blesses us, everyone. Can’t you feel it, Lukas W. Arm?