I recently attended a performance of A Christmas Carol. You remember that one, right? Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts. The first ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Past, shows Scrooge the boy he used to be. The second ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Present, introduces Scrooge to Bob Cratchit’s family and, importantly, to Bob’s very sick son Tiny Tim, who will die unless things change. The Ghost of Christmas Future introduces Scrooge to two emaciated children, Ignorance and Want. Scrooge is mocked by this ghost because of his lack of concern for these children. The Ghost of Christmas Future also shows Scrooge his own funeral…and it is the funeral of a very disliked man. This premonition is juxtaposed to the funeral of Tiny Tim as Tim’s family and community mourn his very short life and untimely death.
In that moment Scrooge vows to change his ways if he is given one final chance. Scrooge awakens a changed man—and discovers its Christmas morning. He makes a large donation to a charity he previously rejected. He anonymously sends a large goose to the home of Bob Cratchit and gives Bob a well-deserved robust raise. Scrooge spends the afternoon with his son’s family, and eventually becomes a father figure to Tiny Tim. From this day forward, Scrooge treats everyone with kindness, respect, compassion and generosity, as he has truly realized the spirit of Christmas.
The story of A Christmas Carol teaches us all a valuable lesson…and unfortunately it’s a lesson that most of us have forgotten. As we celebrate the greatest gift of all let us be more like Jesus. God has given us all choices; and for some, life is a minute-by-minute struggle. Christmas is not only about taking time to appreciate gifts—it’s about taking time to appreciate one another, to go into the new year with our own promise to do better for others and to show one another respect, compassion and generosity. In this way we can truly accept God’s greatest gift of his son Jesus Christ, and in him we may all be assured eternal life.
Merry Christmas, one and all, and let earth receive her King.
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Blog post by attorney John B. White Jr. Click here to read more about John.