A Feel-Good Story
A Feel-Good Story
I refuse to watch sad movies. I do not want to sit down to watch something that will make me sad. On the other hand, I love feel-good stories. I like it when the good guy wins, the bad guy loses, and everyone goes home happy.
One of my favorite movies of this variety is A Christmas Carol. I especially like the 2009 animated variety with Jim Carey. The reason I like this particular movie is because of how it 2is wrapped up at the end. As (hopefully) everyone knows, Scrooge has a change of heart after the three Christmas Ghosts confront him. And in the 2009 version, Bob Cratchit (Gary Oldman) narrates the remaining sequence of events. He says that Scrouge was more than good on his promises; he restored Bob, became a second father to Tiny Tim, and became a great philanthropist for the rest of his life.
Why is A Christmas Carol so appealing? Why do I enjoy watching the feel-good story year after year? One of the reasons is true repentance. Scrouge made a 180 on everything that he was doing before. He was a new man. He went on to do great things in his community for the rest of his life.
Repentance is not an unfamiliar term to those familiar with the Bible. But just because we are familiar with it doesn't make it any less special. One of the best feel-good stories of all time involved the man responsible for most of our New Testament. We are familiar with the story of Saul, who became Paul. Paul's change of heart was just as radical (if not more) than the fictional character Scrouge. In Acts 26:9-11 Paul says of himself, "I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities."
Now, look at the end of his life in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 he says, "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing."
What has the power to change a man like Saul? The word of God. I can say with certainty that we are not going to get a visit from three ghosts tonight. We might and should have an encounter with the word of God, however. Do we let it change us? Do we let it work out the way it should? That is the best feel-good story of all.