In my favorite musical rendition of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Albert Finney plays Ebenezer Scrooge. One of the best moments in the film comes when Scrooge drinks the milk of human kindness proffered by the Ghost of Christmas Past. Scrooge becomes drunk and giddily begins to sing, “I like life. Life likes me. I like feeling the way I’m feeling.” Before Scrooge’s “conversion,” his life is filled with selfishness, greed, and self-pity. Post-ghost encounters, his life is filled with a love for others and selfless acts of kindness.
The changes wrought in Dickens’ most well-known character reveal a great spiritual truth: in order to love life, you have to have a life of love. Jesus taught it’s not enough to love your friends and family. He insisted we love everyone, regardless of their social status, ability, influence, or even their enmity toward us. Speaking of love was not sufficient for Jesus; His actions demonstrated His love. He fed the hungry, He healed the sick, He comforted the broken-hearted, He encouraged the widow. Ultimately, He carried the cross to Calvary.