“I think I’d rather not.”  I heard this line last night as we attended a performance of the Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol.  In fact it’s one of my favorite lines in the whole story.  Ebenezer Scrooge has just been put on notice by Marley’s ghost that he would be visited by three spirits and shown the meaning of Christmas and the importance of mending his ways.  That’s when Mr. Scrooge stated his understandable hesitancy to what lay before him.  But even with his “I think I’d rather not,” the promised visits happened just the same, and, well, you know the rest of the story.  I love the Christmas season and its true meaning; I’m sure you do as well.  But I know there are Christmases you may have faced or are facing now, and you would echo the words of Scrooge.  Christmas can be so different from one year to the next.  There are beautiful Christmas trees and ones that fall over and shatter favorite ornaments.  Gifts the kids still talk about and gifts that were forgotten by New Year’s Day, if not sooner.  There are “perfect” Christmases.  There are hard ones.  Some Christmases are incredibly painful after the loss of a loved one.  In fact, this Christmas may be very different for you.  Changing times, circumstances, relationships, and health can affect our Christmases.  Right now you may even be saying to yourself, “I think I’d rather not.”  But wait a minute.  You have something that Mr. Scrooge didn’t have, something Charles Dickens completely left out of his story.  And that’s the Person of Christmas.  No matter what’s going on in your life, no matter what kind of changes each December 25th brings, the fact that our Lord miraculously came to die for you is the same.  The fact that He loves you is the same.  His person, His presence, His plan, His power?  Absolutely the same.  Every single Christmas.  Let the presence of Emmanuel change your “I think I’d rather not” to “Glory to God in the highest”!  Merry Christmas!