A Christmas Carol Musing

Lynn was feeling well enough to get out of the house after her surgery! And since we are in South Africa there are several things to do which are not always possible living in rural Mozambique, so we decided to visit an exquisite little movie theater that mostly features classics and watched “The man who invented Christmas”.

The movie told the story of Charles Dickens writing of “A Christmas Carol” and as he wrestled to bring the story to life, the movie exposed the intriguing context of his writing and the challenging life circumstances for those of that period.

For many of us who can only think of navigating the Christmas season without putting on yet  more unwanted weight, it is hard to imagine what life has been like and is yet for many not born into our time or place. “At the age of twelve Charles (Dickens) worked with working-class men and boys in a factory that handled “blacking,” or shoe polish. While his father was in debtor’s prison, the rest of the family moved to live near the prison, leaving Charles to live alone.” (Source)

For all during that time period, even for those who had some resource, keeping your head down to prevent the likelihood of starvation and homelessness was the order of the day for most families. Child labour, a crime today, was and still is what often keeps a family fed! And yet into and out of this very difficult existence, the timeless story of Christmas brings hope and transformation in darkness!

“A Christmas Carol,” is only a story! But it calls to mind important truths to meditate on as we approach this time of the year again. Yes, there are still the Scrooges who for many reasons, including “spiritual”, can downplay Christmas. But some of the excerpts of the book I will share between now and December 25th I trust will remind you yet again of the heart of the season.

The first of these excerpts contrast the heart of the Saviour (and the season), with the heart we all struggle with in some small way…

“Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas” (A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, Stave 1, Pg 13)

Bill Hybles says that our natural tendancy as humans is to grasp and clutch, but Jesus relinquished! (Philippians 2)

If you are interested in checking out our 2018 Unique Christmas Gift Brochure click here. Please note, that the Brochure PDF has active links to take you to  video you may find encouraging!