Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Christmas Carol Revisted (Update)

Lailia Tov;
One of the many traditions many enjoy doing this time of the year is the watching and/or reading of Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol.
Ah old, Ebenezer Scrooge!
How often those of us who do not celebrate Christmas or "keep it" as Dickens would say, as others do, are called "Scrooge."
Frankly, unless one truly feels as old Ebbie does about the whole affair,(and I have known people who truly do) it is an unfair comment.
Because, if one truly reads the story, while the backdrop is Christmas, Scrooge's bitter, angry spirit really has nothing to do with the holiday. Christmas is the setting for Scrooge's transformation.
Ebenezer's mother dies in childbirth, his birth. And as a result, his father, blaming the babe for his wife's death, rejecting him, turning away from the boy, leaving him to be raised in Boarding Schools. It's in these schools, Ebenezer spends his holidays, winter, spring, summer and fall, alone.
This is until, years later, when  his sister Fran manages to change their father's harden heart and he is permitted to come home.
As a young man, Ebenezer loses that dear sister when, Fran as a young,  married woman also dies in childbirth, having Ebenezer's nephew and now only relative. He turns from the boy, just as his father had done years ago.
Ebenezer soon grows to believe the only thing one can truly rely on is money and his drive to become rich drives even the woman he loves away. He later is showed by the Spirit of Christmas Past, that Belle is not only married to a wealthy man, but blessed with many children, children that could have been his own.
It really doesn't matter the time of year or season, Scrooge is a bitter old man who loves and cares for no one. Not even himself. He has shut himself off in his own coffin, just waiting to die.
The needs of England's poor are of no concern to him at any time, let alone Christmas..
Interesting, the nephew, Fred, who also loses his beloved mother in childbirth, his heart reminds open and gentle. He even continues to reach out to the uncle who rejects him. He, along with Scrooge's Clark, never allow Scrooge sour mood to affect them or dampen their joy. But this has nothing to do with the "Christmas spirit." This is the G-dly spirit that all of us who claim to love G-d should have.
After the night visits of three ghost, Scrooge is a changed man. He is open not only to receive Christmas, but to his fellowman. Not just Christmas Day, but throughout the year. It took the facing of himself as well as his approaching death to have this change of heart.
But it isn't as simple as that; for Scrooge still had to chose; continue to be a to  sourpuss and when shown his life and his fate, continue on that path or  path change his course, his nature
We are have that same choice; we can choice to walk about looking like we dined on sour grapes or feasted on sweet wine and apples. We can take the hurts of our lives and use it as a sword to attack others, or as oilment to help heal the world around us.
 So whenever someone calls me Scrooge because  I don't keep Christmas, I smile. Because I have read the end of the book.
 You see, Scrooge was a changed man. He kept Christmas not just one day, but every day of the year. Yeshua was born in his heart and grew into Scrooge and Scrooge took on His nature.
And I hope that is true of me.
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