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Welcome to First Christian Church of Orange Come Worship: November 22, 2015, 10 AM
Sermon: Be Thankful
Scripture: Colossians 3:12-15
Led By: Pastor Dayna Kinkade

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A Christmas Carol is a timeless classic by Charles Dickens. It is a beloved tale told and retold during the Christmas season. It also conveys a gospel message of redemption. Modern readers may not know that each one of the Spirits in A Christmas Carol correlates directly to the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer of 1559. The traditional advent themes of hope, patience, faith, joy and peace are brought to light by each of the spirits. During Advent we prepare our hearts yet again to welcome God into our lives and transform us. The story of Scrooge is the story of heart being prepared; a heart making room for God’s arrival.

Christmas is more than Jesus’ birthday party. The season of Advent is a season to remember why it matters that Jesus was born and the message he came to proclaim.

Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843 after returning from a trip to America. He was dismayed by Christians who justified slavery. In his own country, Dickens was working to reform the “Poor Law of 1834.” This law was written to end poverty by punishing those who could not or would not work. His own father was sent to debtor’s prison, leaving him to earn a living for his family. The law broke up families and left children abandoned or sent to workhouses.

The name Ebenezer alludes to 1 Samuel 7:12. The name means, “The Lord is my help,” and an Ebenezer was a stone or an altar created after a period of trial. It reminded people the people of God’s sustaining presence. The character of Ebenezer Scrooge had to endure the trial of the spirits to open his heart to God.

Like the prophets breaking into history, calling people back to God, Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol to call people to repent of their callous indifference to the poor, and return to God.

This devotional links a passage from A Christmas Carol with a teaching of Jesus reminding us that the real gift of Jesus is the transformation he inaugurates, in our hearts and in our world.
May this offering prepare you to make room for Christ.

Blessings, Dayna

Note: Much of the above is found in a book by the Reverend Cheryl Anne Kincaid titled, “Hearing the Gospel through Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”” Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.
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1st Sunday of Advent
Worship 10:00 am in the Sanctuary
Scripture: Isaiah 1:16-18, 58:1-10, Luke 1:78-79
Message: Wake Up!
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