Introduction: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843 and illustrated by John Leech. A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol during a period when the British were exploring and re-evaluating past Christmas traditions, including carols, and newer customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. He was influenced by the experiences of his own youth and by the Christmas stories of other authors
After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.
For the next three weeks I want to use this Novela or Novel and make some practical applications as it relates to us today. Our spiritual standing, understanding and pursuits.
Transition: Stave one
A Christmas Carol opens on a bleak, cold Christmas Eve in London, seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge‘s business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge, an ageing miser, dislikes Christmas and refuses a dinner invitation from his nephew Fred—the son of Fan, Scrooge’s dead sister. He turns away two men who seek a donation from him to provide food and heating for the poor and only grudgingly allows his overworked, underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, Christmas Day off with pay to conform to the social custom.
That night Scrooge is visited at home by Marley’s ghost, who wanders the Earth entwined by heavy chains and money boxes forged during a lifetime of greed and selfishness. Marley tells Scrooge that he has a single chance to avoid the same fate: he will be visited by three spirits and must listen or be cursed to carry much heavier chains of his own.
- An Aging Miser
‘Bah Humbug’ = The phrase is often misunderstood. When Scrooge decries Christmas as a ‘humbug’, it is often taken as a general exclamation of displeasure and bitterness, but Scrooge didn’t just hate Christmas at the start of the tale – he deemed it to be a complete fraud.
Although associated forevermore with anti-Christmas cheer, the word ‘humbug’ was in common parlance long before Dickens wrote his festive novella in 1843, and was meant as a hoax or deceit. (In fact, it was described in 1751 as “a word very much in vogue with the people of taste and fashion”.)
- Christmas and Christ a Fraud?
Application: There are many who the older they get the more cynical, critical and bitter they become.
Application: Unfortunately, there are some Christians like this. Things didn’t turn out as they expected, etc. and not only are they miserable not knowing that their fraudualnt position is a direct result of their cynicism.
- A Current Bitterness – Dislikes Christmas
Question: So the question remains; what made Scrooge so bitter? What makes us become bitter today?
Meaninliness – Solomon’s disappointments with just about everything/anything?
Application: Wandering aimlessly and without meaning and purpose is a hard pill to swallow.
Money cannot and will not fil a void!
- Refusing to Surround himself with the good – his nephew Fred-the son of Fan, Scrooges dead sister – a family dinner invitation.
Application: You’ve heard the term that misery loves company?
“Do not allow negative people to turn you into one of them.”
“People who have no life will always try to start drama in yours.”
“Often times, when people are miserable, they will want to make other people miserable, too. But it never helps.”
M.H. ‘We will always be around negative people in some sort or fashion, but we don’t need to live alongside them in their world.’
- Unwilling to Share with others in need
- Scrooge didn’t care about anyone else.
- Scrooge didn’t know there was anyone else.
do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Galatians 6:2, Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.’
Romans 12:10, ‘ Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
Galatians 6:10, ‘So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith’.
1 Timothy 5:8, ‘But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever’.
Proverbs 21:13, ‘He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered’.
Galatians 2:10 ‘They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do’.
James 1:27, ‘Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world’.
Proverbs 19:17, ‘One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, And He will repay him for his good deed’.
Psalm 35:10, ‘All my bones will say, “Lord, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?”
Ephesians 4:32, ‘Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you’.
John 13:34-35, ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 John 3:17-18, ‘But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth’.
Matthew 25:40, ‘The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Proverbs 28:27, ‘He who gives to the poor will never want, But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
Galatians 6:9-10, ‘Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith’.
1 Thessalonians 5:11, ‘Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing’.
Colossians 3:12, ‘So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
1 Corinthians 12:25, ‘so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
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