Bah Humbug : Four lessons we can learn from A Christmas Carol
By this point, we’ve all watched or heard the Christmas Carol story many times so I won’t belabor the points. I will admit, out of all the various renditions, my favorite version is the Muppets Christmas Carol. Maybe it’s the fun, child-like humor, the magical songs, or maybe it’s just the sweet capturing of the Christmas spirit. I recently snuggled up for my yearly viewing and found that the lessons of this classic story still apply today. Here are four life lessons we can learn from A Christmas Carol’s Ebenezer Scrooge.
1.) Don’t put off life waiting for more.
During the ghost of Christmas past’s visit, we see that young Scrooge’s fiance, Belle, is recounting how they’ve put their wedding off for yet another year due to Scrooge’s insistence that he needs more before they can exchange vows. Ultimately, Belle realizes that for Scrooge, she is not enough and leaves him. His desire to accumulate things trumps his ability to share his already good life with Belle. It’s easy to think Scrooge is an extreme person but I find that it’s easy to do the same thing: put off joy because we could always have more. More is not the goal and the desire robs us of the joy of now.
2.) Don’t be stingy
I know this one is pretty obvious but it’s worth exploring. At the top of the story, we see two gentlemen from the homeless shelter calling to ask for a donation. Scrooge harshly turns them away saying that the poor “should go ahead and die...and decrease the surplus population.” I’m sure you don’t think that way but it can be easier to let an opportunity of generosity pass us by than we realize. Sometimes those opportunities are an organization openly asking for money or it can be as little as buying someone a much-needed cup of coffee. Scrooge was so convinced that he could not part with his money but we know where our financial blessings come from. Use your money and time wisely but be generous nonetheless.
3.) Enjoy your friends and family now
Towards the end of the story, we see the ghost of Christmas yet to come showing Scrooge the ominous future that awaits him and his town should he not change his ways. We peek inside a frosty window into the home of Bob Cratchet (Kermit the Frog in the Muppets version) and see the family sitting down to a meager Christmas meal. Unfortunately, there is a crutch in place of Tiny Tim who has passed away. As the small family eats, the children begin to cry. Bob comforts them and says “It’s alright children. Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it.”
Christmas is a wonderful season that reminds us to spend time enjoying our loved ones. You never know what tomorrow will bring so enjoy your friends and family today.
4.) Invest in people
We also see right before Scrooge’s great turnaround his impending funeral, attended by people only to mock and guess at where his large fortune would end up now that he’s dead. Not a kind word was spoken, only snide comments. At the end of our lives, people will not really remember us for the things we had or the money we stored up but how we invested in others and God’s kingdom.
At the end of the story, we see Ebenezer Scrooge generously giving to the charity he gruffly turned away, buying a Christmas feast for the Cratchit family, and merrily singing and dancing with the joyful townspeople. Everything is right in the world and Scrooge has turned his life into a happy one that will be remembered for his kindness and generosity.
I hope that we learn these lessons and that we also remember the true reason for the season: Jesus.
Merry Christmas, church family and as Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us, every one.”
Make Rock Springs YOUR home for Christmas 2020 and join us for our Christmas Eve services at 1, 3, and 5 PM at our Milner campus and 3 PM at both our Branch and Macon campuses. As always, we will be live streaming our services as well.