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If my memory serves me correctly, there is one thing that Scrooge never does in any of these films. He does not go to church on Christmas. Yet, according to Dickens’ story, Scrooge does in fact go to church as he walks the streets on Christmas morning.
For decades, Scrooge had missed the wonders and joys of life. But, with his heart renewed, he could perceive and enjoy the wonders of Christmas morning: ringing bells, crisp air, bright sunlight. For Ebenezer Scrooge, all of this was glorious, glorious!
Today, we continue in our special devotional series for Advent and Christmas. Last week, we began to examine the transformed life of the fictional character Ebenezer Scrooge, the protagonist of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. He who once considered Christmas to be a “humbug” came to treasure it. As Dickens writes about the transformed Scrooge, he “knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.”
Our Advent season of preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ is drawing to a close. Today we focus on our waiting for the Son, the Son of God who will save his people and, indeed, the whole world. Isaiah 9 gives us a prophetic glimpse of this saving, ruling, divine Son.
Ebenezer Scrooge kept Christmas well by laughing, and so can we. In fact, we have more cause for laughter than Scrooge because it is one of the most obvious and sensible responses to grace.
This is the fourth installment in a devotional series I’m doing called “Keeping Christmas Well.” My human inspiration comes from Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character in Charles Dickens’ beloved classic, A Christmas Carol. My divine inspiration, as always, comes from Scripture. The example of Scrooge, who learned to “keep Christmas well,” helps us to reflect upon how we might do similarly — not just during Advent and Christmas but throughout the year, and not just in our private lives but in every part of life, including our work.
At the beginning of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge is not the sort of person I’d like to be. According to Dickens’ classic description, Scrooge was “a tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone, 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.” He was also wealthy, with riches earned in many cases by mistreating those less fortunate than him. Yet, because of the intervention of supernatural spirits, Scrooge is ultimately transformed…
The name “Ebenezer” is not original to the English language. In fact, it is an Anglicized version of a Hebrew noun, which is itself composed of two Hebrew words. In 1 Samuel 4:1, for example, the Israelites camped at a place called Ebenezer.
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