“He was conscious of a thousand odors floating in the air, each oneconnected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares, long, long,forgotten.” ~ Charles Dickens
According to the writer of St. Luke's gospel, an angel appears to shepherds at night and said “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people.” It is difficult to imagine the awe and happiness that they must have experienced. A Good Word suddenly dispelled the darkness of night with the light of hope.
Every year without fail, I watch the 1951 Alastair Sim version of Scrooge, A Christmas Carol.
I imagine that the shepherds must have had the same dumbfounded expression on their faces that Bob Cratchit had when his boss, Scrooge the miser, gave him a raise and told him that life was going to be different from that day forward. What an incredible privilege it is to bring good tidings, to speak well and to carry a message of hope! The changes that such communication brings to the lives of those who receive it are instant and have a lasting impact. And almost everyone will receive it.
Most of us are hungry for good tidings, good news and hope. When we hear it our spirits are lifted, we rise from the funk and the day takes on a glow of possibilities. It is hard to be dragged down after heeding a message of joy. The great change is evidenced in the words of Charles Dickens in the closing of A Christmas Carol when he states "He (Scrooge) became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world."
We all have the opportunity to bring good tidings and spread them wherever we go to whomever we meet. It is just as easy as carrying a downcast, forlorn, morose and melancholy demeanor. We can surprise and delight people with a different message.
We can make the astonishing offer of Scrooge when he says, "I'll raise your salary, and endeavor to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob." Now is the time to make the change. What is your good word? Are you bringing hope or discouragement? What do you have to add to the positive flow of life? What personal benediction do you have for your fellow human beings? Find the answer and carry the message!
It is Christmas time. Life is good. By the way, it is always good...and always has been!