Every year just after Thanksgiving I pull out my favorite Christmas movies. I always start with Alastair Sims playing Scrooge. In my opinion it has to be Alastair Sims, because he is the scroogiest!
There are many famous quotes from Dickens’ book that tell the tale of greed turned to love when Scrooge was forced to face his life. His eyes were opened. Everything about money had consumed Ebenezer until he had no room for anyone…not one soul, until he had shut everything that was good and kind out of his life.
Remember this cold, unfeeling scene from the movie?
First Collector: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute.
Ebenezer: Are there no prisons?
First Collector: Plenty of prisons.
Ebenezer: And the union workhouses – are they still in operation?
First Collector: They are. I wish I could say they were not.
Ebenezer: Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I’m very glad to hear it.
First Collector: I don’t think you quite understand us, sir. A few of us are endeavoring to buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth.
First Collector: Because it is at Christmastime that want is most keenly felt, and abundance rejoices. Now what can I put you down for?
Ebenezer: Huh! Nothing!
Second Collector: You wish to be anonymous?
Ebenezer: [firmly, but calmly] I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish sir, that is my answer. I help to support the establishments I have named; those who are badly off must go there.
First Collector: Many can’t go there.
Second Collector: And some would rather die.
Dear Fred, who felt sorry for his uncle, is an example of unconditional love. Fred was the only one who did not despise, ignore or fear him. Scrooge’s nephew never gave up, but always spoke to him with a cheery word and a smile.
When Marley showed up as the doorknocker, and entered his room he struck fear into Ebenezer. He tried to help his old friend redeem himself before it was too late. Scrooge didn’t get it; he needed more softening of the heart.
Ebenezer: But it was only that you were an honest man of business!
Jacob Marley: BUSINESS? Mankind was my business! Their common welfare was my business!
I spent some years in retail sales, and it seemed to me that every year greed and selfishness continued to grow. We can blame corporations as they promote overspending because they have forgotten that Christmas is about the Child who came as The Gift. But ultimately the blame falls on each of us individually. We let ourselves be caught up in it.
While Christmas trees decorate the stores, no one sees them. Instead, grumpy spirits, bearing no smiles, rush from store to store.
Who thinks of the Child when they rush? Who would remember to put money in the Salvation Army bucket on the way out if it weren’t for the bell?
When Scrooge met Christmas Present he was still unmoved. Too old to change, he said…
Spirit of Christmas Present: So! Is your heart still unmoved towards us, then?
Ebenezer: I’m too old and beyond hope! Go and redeem some younger, more promising creature, and leave me to keep Christmas in my own way!
Spirit of Christmas Present: Mortal! We Spirits of Christmas do not live only one day of our year. We live the whole three hundred and sixty-five. So is it true of the Child born in Bethlehem. He does not live in men’s hearts one day of the year, but in all days of the year. You have chosen not to seek Him in your heart. Therefore, you will come with me and seek Him in the hearts of men of good will.
As bad as things look some days, there is still love in this world. Charities such as Samaritans Purse, CHOW, Catholic Charities, and others work diligently for donations especially at Christmastime. People will give unselfishly, and people will volunteer. There are still people who love, and many times these people do not lay claim to Christ.
There is still hope!
“ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13,14 NKJV
Do we believe there could be peace on earth? Peace: it’s the illusion that people have always talked about–the one question for Miss America! It’s what all people are eager for. But how does it happen? Can mankind unite and change the world? Will mankind ever unite and have world peace?
Right there…that moment when the angel spoke…the Peace came to earth.
And now…we wait for the day when the Savior comes again. We will have peace, but there will never be peace on this earth. That doesn’t mean we don’t love, and sacrifice, and do our part toward peace now.
Otherwise, how will others recognize Christ?
Finally after the Spirit Yet to Come, showed Scrooge his grave, he repented…
Ebenezer: [singing] I don’t know anything, I never did know anything, and now I know that I don’t know, all on a Christmas morning.
He was joyful! He was learning to love. He was learning to be selfless.
My favorite part of the movie is when Scrooge talks to Bob Cratchit the day after Christmas…laughs, and throws his quill pen carelessly behind him…
Ebenezer: I don’t deserve to be so happy.
Ebenezer: But I can’t help it.
Ebenezer: I-I I just can’t help it.
As so as the story goes, he kept Christmas all year-long, and he kept it very well.
Here are a few interesting quotes from the author, Charles Dickens:
“Lost friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother, husband, wife, we will not so discard you! You shall hold your cherished places in our Christmas hearts, and by our Christmas fires; and in the season of immortal hope, and on the birthday of immortal mercy, we will shut out Nothing!”
“My dear children, I am very anxious that you should know something about the History of Jesus Christ. For everybody ought to know about Him.” -Charles Dickens
(In which he wrote for his children—“The Life of Our Lord.”)