A Christmas Carol: Stave 3, Day 1

Today’s post is a guest post by Jennifer Wheeler Meitzen, who was kind enough to tackle the opening of Stave 3. I hope you enjoy.

Stave Three opens with Scrooge jerking awake “in the right nick of time.” He is all set to meet the second messenger, thoroughly prepared, he believes to meet this Spirit the moment it arrives. He even goes so far as to uncover all the bed curtains in order to not be surprised at its sudden appearance. Dickens uses an entire paragraph to explain to us just how prepared Scrooge is. He’s ready for anything from “pitch-and-toss to manslaughter”; anything  between “a baby and rhinoceros.” I’ll admit that Dickens isn’t what I’d call a leisurely read, but you have to admit his word choice paints quite a picture.  We are left with no doubt that Scrooge is ready for anything.

Except what he gets…which is nothing.  

The appointed hour comes and goes and nothing happens. No one appears, no sound, no great gust of wind. Dickens does mention that a light appeared as the clock struck one, but we’ll get to that in a moment. When no spirit appeared, Scrooge is terrified. He has no idea what it means; no idea what to expect; no idea what to do. He lies on his bed, unable to take any action, because he doesn’t know which way to turn. Until finally, he recognizes the light and realizes that it is coming from the next room.  

That realization alone is enough to get Scrooge up and moving. He heads toward the light in the next room and hears a voice calling his name, telling him to enter. When he does, he recognizes that it is his room, but it is totally different. This new room is filled with greenery and stuffed with food of all kinds-meats, fruits, desserts, even punch. And, there sits the second Ghost, urging  Scrooge to “Come in! and know me better, man!”

We, too, are in a season of waiting. We, too, are called to be ready. Matthew tells us in 24:44, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” And Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:2, “… for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” Like Scrooge, we know it’s coming. We just don’t know when or where or how. But, we are called to be ready.  

And I have to ask myself, “Am I?”  

How am I using the time I have been given? Am I cowering in fear, unable to take action, because I don’t know which way to turn? Or am I being the light of Christ, drawing others into that next room which will be like this room, only totally transformed: “a new heaven and a new earth.” And I remember that in order to recognize him when he comes, I must know him, and know him very well so that I do not mistake another for coming in his place. I remember that in order to point others to him, I must be like him.  And I remember how to do that. I open my Bible, and Christ invites me over and over again, “Come in! and know me better, man!”

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