Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2022 Blog #50
December 19, 2022
The Original Hallmark Movie: A Christmas Carol
Despite angering a few friends who adore Hallmark Christmas Movies, I have written about my distaste for them. There is one “Hallmark-type” movie that I do like. It was written by Charles Dickens and is titled “A Christmas Carol.” For me, this is a Christmas Movie that is worth seeing. Over the years there have been many versions but my favorite version is the 1984 version which stars George C. Scott. Somehow Scott seems just perfect for the gruff Ebenezer Scrooge. As bad a man as Scrooge was, I can’t help but feel sorry for him and I celebrate the spiritual redemption that he received.
How can I feel sorry for him?
He is a victim of a harsh childhood.
Scrooge’s father treated him rather harshly. Scrooge’s little sister, when coming to pick him up for school, assures him that their father is gentler than he used to be. Scrooge’s mother is never mentioned. Was his father harsh because he was a widower? Dickens does not tell us why but clearly his childhood was not pleasant.
Should we not feel badly for those who have had rough childhoods?
Scrooge is grieving.
The person that Scrooge loved most in life was his sister, Fran. Fran died in childbirth, giving birth to Scrooge’s nephew, Fred. Does her death remind him of the death of his mother? Were these deaths unresolved for him? He stayed away from his nephew Fred because he reminded him of his sister.
Should we not feel badly for those who grieve?
Scrooge is lonely.
When we come to meet Scrooge in the movie, he is already alone. His parents have died and his sister is also dead. Years earlier, the woman to whom he was engaged to be married, broke the engagement. Scrooge is left alone in the world except for his nephew whom he avoids.
Should we not feel badly for the lonely?
So why did Scrooge become such a monster. Many folks have been abused, grieved, and been lonely. Not everyone under these circumstances become ruthless monsters who like Scrooge, care nothing about the lives of others. Many people overcome such hardships and become rather compassionate. Usually because they have outside mentors and role models. We can only guess why he did not have resiliency. I suggest that this was because he had no Christian mentor. He knew nothing of God or Christian living. Christmas was not a celebration for him. He did not worship God and so had nothing to celebrate at Christmas. It took the intervention of four ghosts to show him what he once was and what he could become. I can’t help but wonder if he could have spent a lifetime as a compassionate man if only a Christian mentor had been there for him.
Let us who are Christian keep the world from creating other Scrooges. Let us be there for the abused, the grieving, the lonely. Let us show them the Fruit of the Holy Spirit so that they may have spiritual resiliency to overcome such hardships without morphing into other Scrooge type people. If we who are Christ’s people don’t teach the resiliency of the Spirit to those in need then who will?
Maybe this should be our resolutions for the new year; to be there for those in need so that future Scrooges could be averted. What a gift we can give the world!
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/