Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch newsletter 20 December 2020
We haven’t got round yet to watching one of our Christmas staple films, Love Actually. We shall! But we did watch A Christmas Carol on Sunday afternoon. More precisely, The Muppets Christmas Carol. I can’t imagine what Dickens would have made of it. Did you know that Dickens started a novel, or rather a magazine instalment, because that was how novelists of the time eventually produced the finished article, without having much of an idea of how it would end? You would think that a plot diagram would be an essential part of writing, but Dickens broke the rule and it doesn’t seem to have done him any harm.
The real Christmas story is on the face of it a plot beginning. Except that when the Word became flesh, the story of salvation had already begun, outside of time. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Our part in the story had already been written, too. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Character development: the Fall and Christ’s victory over its consequence, death, describes our progression from sinners to ransomed sinners. So what about this story’s ending?
Well here God breaks the rule, too. The familiar Christmas passage from Isaiah 9:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
There will be no end. Now that’s a story worth reading and telling.