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The other day I was asked why we’re reading from Titus 2 on Christmas Eve.My conversation partner wanted to know what this passage has to do with Christmas.

Yes Ebenezer Scrooge goes from being a person for whom Christmas is nothing more than a “humbug,” to someone who seeks to embody the fulness of Christmas – not the Christmas of the mall, but the Christmas that is ultimately rooted in the blessed hope of God.It’s an expectation that inspires our singing of carols and that calls for us to faithfully observe the wonder of this child’s birth as we listen to the angels declare through song that one has come into our midst, who according to Titus 2, bringing “salvation to all people,” and educating “us so that we live sensible, ethical, and godly lives” (Titus CEB) When we read Titus 2 in light of the gospel stories of Jesus’ birth and the powerful words of Isaiah as he declares that a great light shines in the darkness of our world, bringing joy to the nation, perhaps we may understand how this event changes the way we look at life and live our lives in the presence of the God who brings to the world justice and peace and grace.As we consider the words of this letter, my thoughts turn to Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.The question that is utmost in Scrooge’s mind, is whether these shadows of the future can be changed?And the answer is, as Dickens tells it, yes, the future remains open.

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