Scrooge Without Redemption

Dr. Stephen Phinney

Who was the Scrooge of your Christmas past?

Every Christmas, I am burdened for the masses who have few pleasant memories to recall during the Christmas season. I grieve over their demise, whether it was poverty, childhood abuse, a family who found Christmas dispiriting or having a Scrooge in the family. Despite the commercialism that comes with this season, as for me, it has always been a celebration. However, the reality is, this is not the case with the masses.

Moments ago, our family finished watching a movie on the Charles Dickens playwright of “A Christmas Carol.” If you remember, it is about a grumpy, selfish, melancholy old man called Scrooge who believes homeless people should go to prison or into workhouses. His wealth drove him into a corner of loneliness and despondency. That is until he got a glimpse of the price tag that came with his morbid past, present, and future. Fortunately, this dream shook him to the core - awakening him to the reality of his selfishness.

In reality, Dickens had great sympathy for the poor and hoped “A Christmas Carol” would make people more generous as his main character, Scrooge, had a wake-up call, which became his doorway to freedom is found in giving.

In his dream, he is visited by his dead business partner, Jacob Marley, who wanders the earth with heavy chains, holding a money box filled with greed and selfishness. Marley tells him he has one more chance to avoid the same fate. He also announces that he will be visited by Christmas past, present, and future. With that, the story unfolds.