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The Moanings of Marley

Thursday, December 27, 2018

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“Stop flogging yourself over the past mistakes and hurtful memories of the past.” – Kellie Sullivan

One of the most overlooked – and tragic – characters in Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol, is Jacob Marley. The former business partner of Ebenezer Scrooge, Marley died seven years ago but comes back to warn him about the afterlife. Specifically, Marley arranges for Scrooge to be visited by three spirits that night and strongly advises him to follow their counsel.

According to Wikipedia, Marley is “a chained and tormented ghost, doomed to wander the earth forever as punishment for his greed and selfishness when he was alive. Marley roams restlessly, witnessing the hardships others suffer and lamenting that he has forever lost his chance to help them.”

The chains that hold Marley “captive, bound and double-ironed” contain “cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel.” He explains that he unknowingly forged the chains himself in life, as a result of his greed and selfishness, obsessing over money and mistreating the poor in order to fill his coffers. Marley is condemned to walk the earth for eternity, never to find rest or peace, experiencing an "incessant torture of remorse". He laments that Christmas is the time he suffers most of all.

Pretty depressing stuff, huh?

The good news – make that, the Good News – is that whereas it is too late for Jacob Marley and others who have died to make amends, it is not too late for Ebenezer Scrooge and the rest of us who are still in the land of the living. Repenting of our sins and turning in faith to Jesus Christ can and will make a world of difference...in this life and the next.

So, please stop lamenting all of the poor decisions you made and the sins you committed this past year. Instead, confess them to our loving Heavenly Father and receive in earnest His cleansing and forgiveness. Then plow full steam ahead into 2019, determined to follow God and not to repeat the same mistakes.

“Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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