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The Last Chapter is the Best
We remember Scrooge as the old miser. But he turned to God, and when he did, God remembered only the last pages of his life. How will you be remembered?

Probably the most slandered and maligned man in literature is a character in a Christmas story—Ebenezer Scrooge.

No sin is too great that you cannot come home for Christmas.

Yes, we all remember Scrooge in Dickens' classical allegory, A Christmas Carol, as a cantankerous, hard-hearted, mean-spirited, miserly skin-flint who bullied his employee, turned widows onto the streets, and had no mercy for orphans or even his own clerk's son, Tiny Tim. Yet we remember Scrooge this way because we have forgotten the last chapter of the story.

This ogre actually turned into a jolly, generous, loving and loveable benefactor to all who crossed his path., however, as Shakespeare put it in Julius Caesar, "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones." Likewise, in the case of this reviled Dickens character, we have buried the Christ spirit that entered the repentant Scrooge in those last pages.

I always find December a great time for remembering. It's a season when family and friends get together and talk over old times. And the nearer we get to Christmas Day, the more frequent are the get-togethers; and the more intense the reminiscences. I always hope that when my old acquaintances meet, they will remember me kindly for the good things I have done and yet deal generously with my faults.

The comfort we older Christians can have, as we head into the celebration of the Saviour's birth, is this: As we recall Jesus' early days, He forgets ours, remembering only the last pages of our lives. David pleaded to God in Psalm 25:7, "Remember not the sins of my youth."

Today we know that when we confess our sins, God forgives us by covering them with His blood. It does not matter what other humans think of us. As they look at our past, we can look boldly to our future. For we know what happens in the last chapter.

If you have never asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins, I urge you to call any of the following 100 Huntley Street prayer lines (see the sidebar) and ask a prayer partner to lead you into a new relationship with the Saviour. No sin is too great that you cannot come home for Christmas.

When forgiven, we can enter into the spirit of Christmas with hope. As Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, every one!"

Philip Thatcher is a retired editor/writer. He and his wife, Winnie, enjoy their family Christmas with their six children and nine grandchildren. He can be reached at

Originally published in Compass, a publication of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc, December 2003.




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