Unmerited

I love A Christmas Carol (the story as well as the songs). My absolute favourite is probably the Muppet version, but I also love the Alastair Sim version from 1951 and I watched it yesterday whilst preparing veg for dinner. Why do I love it? Because it tells of a man’s redemption. The change in Scrooge is so amazing it fills me with joy.

I was watching this elderly man – he was 51 at the time but 51 then was a lot older than 51 is now – dance, caper and leap around the room in his nightshirt because he had a second chance at living right. He was so joyous, exuberant even. I sniffled and Rachel, who knows me well, said, “You’re not gonna cry are you?” I nodded and explained. “I know that feeling.” She patted my hand because as I said she knows me well.

Then a little later, when he’s giving Bob Cratchit a raise in pay, he bows his head into his hands in disbelief. He knows he doesn’t deserve this second chance. Unmerited. I sniffled again and whispered. “I know that feeling too.”

I do know both feelings well – the absolute joy of being forgiven, set free, rescued from a sad and sorry state and also the overwhelming awareness that it’s not my work but an undeserved gift from someone else.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day with friends, family and good things to eat. I hope you all also know that sense of Joy and Awe that transforms our lives and maybe even makes us try to stand on our heads.

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