Last night my wife and I went with some friends to see Disney's A Christmas Carol. I haven't seen many 3-D movies, but this one was pretty impressive from a visual standpoint. As soon as I strapped on the geeky glasses I felt like I was taken right into the story zooming through the sky on the coattails of Scrooge himself. Yet, in other ways, it was difficult to personally relate to the characters who seemed so computerized and lifeless (i.e. hard to feel sad for a fake Tiny Tim). The story itself stuck pretty closely to the original novel by Charles Dickens. It was very spooky and dark throughout. In fact, I'm glad our kids weren't with us. They would have freaked out! But perhaps the most powerful lesson of the movie was how greed can control you and ultimately kill you. It can ruin relationships and leave you a lonely, poor rejected man in the end.
I couldn't help but think of Zaccheus and how money took hold of his heart and left him empty inside. The difference, obviously, is that Zaccheus was visited by Jesus--not three spooky spirits. And Zaccheus was genuinely loved, not frightened into repentance. But both men gave evidence of their redemption by giving away what they had once hoarded. I love how Tim Keller describes this change of heart in his book, Counterfeit Gods:
The solution to stinginess is a reorientation to the generosity of Christ in the gospel, how he poured out his wealth for you. Now you don't have to worry about money--the Cross proves God's care for you and gives you security.
Most of us don't identify with Scrooge. He's a bit over the top. And so we might think greed is not a problem for us. But it hides itself deeply. So I encourage you to watch this movie for your own heart to be reminded of what matters most this holiday season.
- Read this helpful review at Christianity Today