In three previous posts I have examined and pondered Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Let’s reflect for a few moments about the concept of “don’t you forget”.
Ebenezer Scrooge as a young man was admirable. Belle, his true love, found this quality very attractive.
As the cares of the London business world of the early 1800s became more dominant in Ebenezer, his generous spirit gradually faded until Belle could not recognize the young man which had captured her heart. The one person who could keep Ebenezer focused on generosity he had left standing bewildered and lost by his decision to choose business over love.
As Dickens tells the story, Ebenezer became self absorbed and any generous impulses were strangled until the spirit left the dead soul. For Ebenezer his course was the right one and he found the tradition of Christmas a mere nuisance which kept people from exchanging money, which he hoarded like the nuts hidden by the band of squirrels living in the old oak tree by the Thames.
Like his place of business his mansion was dark and cold. The appearance of his milieu reflected the barren waste of his soul, parched like the Sahara with no oasis for miles and suffering from the cold night winds.
In this enclosed conclave of self Ebenezer experienced a supernatural visitation of three spirits which unveiled the foreboding future as well as his tragic mistakes of the past and present. As we all know this encounter with the spirits changed him.
Perhaps, the experience only reawakened the dormant seed of generosity which lay in unfertile soil until an empyreal drop of water touched it. For Ebenezer became the man who knew how to keep Christmas well by becoming the Londoner who helped his fellow travellers on the road of life.
I do not know if Charles Dickens was thinking of the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 25:31-46 where the Nazarene Teacher stated that only those who have taken care of their fellow brothers and sisters on this planet traversing the cosmos will have eternal life. This social gospel philosophy takes the abstract concepts of the next world and makes practical applications to the daily needs and concerns of people in need.
Religion for itself is self-focused. This is why the broader concept of helping those in need takes religion to the next level which is what Ebenezer Scrooge embraced on that cold, London Christmas morning.
As we count down to this Christmas in 2012, let’s pause a moment to remember the words of the song “Era-Don’t You Forget About Me”. The song reminds one of what life is all about—being there to help a friend or neighbor in need.
As you gaze upon your Victorian tree and the delicately wrapped boxes under its boughs laden with ornaments take some time to ponder on those who will not be enjoying Christmas like you and your family. There will be those on Christmas morning who are cold, hungry and homeless. There will be those who are just making every bit count in their plight.
There will be those, especially children, with no hope of Christmas snow; no dreams of sugar plum faeries and marching nutcrackers. Children like Tiny Tim need hope and dreams on Christmas.
When you are remembered after you are gone, may 2012 have begun your Christmas legacy which people will say truly, “that person knew how to live Christmas well.” May you thrive with Ebenezer’s generosity during this Christmas season.
G. D. Williams © 2012
Era-Don’t You Forget
Ebenezer and Belle: A Tragic Romance
God Bless Us Everyone
A CHRISTMAS CAROL