I went to see a play tonight based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. It has always been one of my favourite stories, probably in part because I was in the play when I was about 10 years old and I loved the experience.
Watching as an adult, reflecting on the message of the story is different though. It stuck me that we can all benefit from a visit from each of the ‘spirits’ in the story.
Scrooge is visited by 4 spirits over Christmas Eve and through the process he is forced to examine the choices he has made in his life and what direction he wants to go in.
The first is his old partner who came to warn him to change. The second is the Spirit of Christmas Past, which reminds him of what he was like when he was younger and explains how he got to be the angry, greedy man. The third is the Spirit of Christmas Present, who shows him what his employee and his nephew are doing for Christmas, both are joyful and cheerful despite not having the wealth, that Scrooge values so highly. The last is the Spirit of Christmas Future, who shows him the future consequences if he does not change his character.
For us now in modern times the exercise of reflecting on the past year, our present and our future is useful, especially at this time of year.
Looking back over the year, celebrating, and remembering the special moments and learning from our mistakes or struggles. Considering if we are where we want to be right now in the present. Are we using this Christmas to celebrate Jesus by demonstrating his love to those around us and being joyful and thankful?
Pondering our future. What do we want to ‘be’ next Christmas? Where do we want to grow? What new opportunities are we going to explore in the next year? What learning and developing do we want in our character and our Christian walk?
In the end of A Christmas Carol Scrooge does change and he becomes generous and caring. The story ends happily and hopefully. He decides to hold on to the lessons that the Past, Present and the Future has taught him, to make him a better person all year around. A great lesson for us all.
Scroogle reflects with this great quote:
“I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”Charles Dickens