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The Christmas Carol as Christian Truth

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Title: The Christmas Carol as Christian Truth


1
The Christmas Carol as Christian Truth
  • If These Shadows Remain Unaltered

2
For the wages of sin are death but the gift of
God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our
lord. ( 1 John 317 KJV). .
  • The Word to Live By

3
The Final Warning  Grace Ignored Equals Death!
  • Session Truth

Grace Received equals life.
4
Exodus 1526 (KJV) And said, If thou wilt
diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy
God, and wilt do that which is right in his
sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and
keep all his statutes, I will put none of these
diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the
Egyptians for I am the LORD that healeth
thee. II Chronicles 714 KJV If my people, which
are called by my name, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their
wicked ways then will I hear from heaven, and
will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
  • Scripture

5
Chapter Overview
  • Death is always present at Christmas.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come was and
    still is overtly recognizable it is the Grim
    Reaper it is Death.
  • Tests Scrooges system and finds it wanting
  • Dead he is a source for money
  • Dead he is a source for possessions.
  • Dead he is a source for food
  • In contrast The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
    tests a self-less system.

6
Is that a DEATH ? Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • One of the aspects of The Christmas Carol which
    surprises readers is that in the midst of a story
    which celebrates the Carol Philosophy there
    should walk into the midst of it Death Himself.
  • However, think of this. Did the shadow of death
    cross your own Christmas celebrations even this
    year? Some would answer with a resounding yes,
    because Death never Takes a Holiday. When
    Hamlets mother and stepfather try to change his
    mood of grief they correctly point out that death
    is a common reality for humans

7
  • QUEEN GERTRUDE
  • Thou know'st 'tis common all that lives must
    die,
  • Passing through nature to eternity. 
  • HAMLET
  • Ay, madam, it is common. 
  • QUEEN GERTRUDE
  • If it be, Why seems it so particular with
    thee?
  • HAMLET
  • Seems, madam! nay it is I know not 'seems. .
    .
  • KING CLAUDIUS
  • . . .Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,
  • A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
  • To reason most absurd whose common theme
  • Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
  • From the first corse till he that died to-day,
    /'This must be so.'

8
So this year, as in all years, Death has visited
homes decked out for Christmas. The Unfairness
of the fact that we are born to die resounds
especially when it occurs during the holidays.
  • However, for all adultseven for those of us who
    have come through our allotted Christmases
    without such an overt intrusionDeath visits.
    Christmas is such a time of memory being as it is
    such a marker of the rolling year, that it is
    impossible to go through the Christmas season and
    not think of those who were once part of our
    world but are no longer with us.
  • For some, in fact, this reality of life has made
    celebrating Christmas too much for them.
    Christmas is for children, they say, but it
    holds too many memories for me. Such people
    dont usually mean that they have suffered
    terrible losses at Christmas time but that they
    remember their losses at Christmas time.

9
In his A Christmas Tree, Dickens describes
himself contemplating a Christmas tree with all
its ornaments. In the midst of it he finds the
shrouded figure of death.
  • O vanishing tree, of which the lower boughs
    are dark to me as yet, and let me look once more!
    I know there are blank spaces on thy branches,
    where eyes that I have loved have shone and
    smiled from which they are departed. But, far
    above, I see the raiser of the dead girl, and the
    Widows Son and God is good! If Age be hiding
    for me in the unseen portion of thy downward
    growth, O may I, with a grey head, turn a childs
    heart to that figure yet, and a childs
    trustfulness and confidence!

10
The Ghost of Christmas Future was and still is
overtly recognizable, it is the Grim Reaper it
is Death
  • "The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently
    approached. When it came, Scrooge bent down upon
    his knee for in the very air through which this
    Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and
    mystery. It was shrouded in a deep black garment,
    which concealed its head, its face, its form, and
    left nothing of it visible save one outstretched
    hand. But for this it would have been difficult
    to detach its figure from the night, and separate
    it from the darkness by which it was surrounded.

11
  • He felt that it was tall and stately when it
    came beside him, and that its mysterious presence
    filled him with a solemn dread. He knew no more,
    for the Spirit neither spoke nor moved.
  • 'I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas
    Yet To Come.' said Scrooge.
  • The Spirit answered not, but pointed onward
    with its hand.
  • 'You are about to show me shadows of the things
    that have not happened, but will happen in the
    time before us, Scrooge pursued. 'Is that so,
    Spirit.
  • The upper portion of the garment was contracted
    for an instant in its folds, as if the Spirit had
    inclined its head. That was the only answer he
    received."

12
Notice that Scrooge has come a long way from the
Curmudgeon who had snarled at Marleys fear
apparition with How now? What do you want with
me? One wonders why he still needed to go
through this part of the journey his heart
already having been so profoundly touched. Why
didnt Dickens just stop with the Ghost of
Christmas Present?
  • Ghost of the Future.' he exclaimed,' I fear
    you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I
    know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope
    to live to be another man from what I was, I am
    prepared to bear you company, and do it with a
    thankful heart. Will you not speak to me.
  • It gave him no reply. The hand was pointed
    straight before them.
  • Lead on.' said Scrooge. Lead on. The night is
    waning fast, and it is precious time to me, I
    know. Lead on, Spirit.'.

13
Death is the Ultimate Test of the World System
Chosen
  • The reason Death must be a part of the pattern
    that Scrooge is following is because he must see
    how the assumptions of his world view, being a
    man of the worldly mind, fares when facing death.

14
Scrooge is shown that if he follows the way of
the world, the world will treat him as a resource
to be used.
  • What has he done with his money.' asked a
    red-faced
  • gentleman with a pendulous excrescence on the end
    of his
  • nose, that shook like the gills of a turkey-cock.

I haven't heard,' said the man with the large
chin, yawning again. Left it to his company,
perhaps. He hasn't left it to me. That's all I
know.'
15
  • It is notable that these are the men Scrooge in
    his worldly mind-set had attempted to impress
  • He knew these men, also, perfectly. They were
    men of aye business very wealthy, and of great
    importance. He had made a point always of
    standing well in their esteem in a business
    point of view, that is strictly in a business
    point of view.
  • So self centered are these gentlemen of
    business that one insists that he at least be fed
    with a provided lunch at the funeral for the time
    he might waste and another complains that wearing
    black gloves, as in mourning, do not become him.

16
  • Thus the passing of a human means nothing more
    to these men then how they may (or may not gain)
    from it. The terrible thing is that these are the
    closest people to whom Scrooge would have called,
    in his role as a worldly wise businessman, as
    friends. One of the group comments on this
  • When I come to think of it, Im not at all
    sure that I wasn't his most particular friend
    for we used to stop and speak whenever we met.

17
  • Thus the passing of a human means nothing more
    to these men then how they may (or may not gain)
    from it. The terrible thing is that these are the
    closest people to whom Scrooge would have called,
    in his role as a worldly wise businessman, as
    friends. One of the group comments on this
  • When I come to think of it, Im not at all
    sure that I wasn't his most particular friend
    for we used to stop and speak whenever we met.

18
Scrooge and the Phantom came into the presence of
this man, just as a woman with a heavy bundle
slunk into the shop. But she had scarcely
entered, when another woman, similarly laden,
came in too and she was closely followed by a
man in faded black, who was no less startled by
the sight of them, than they had been upon the
recognition of each other. After a short period
of blank astonishment, in which the old man with
the pipe had joined them, they all three burst
into a laugh.
19
Thus, Scrooge is brought through the Salvation
experience. Now a changed man, a reborn man, he
begins a new life.
  •   
  • He cares for others
  • He sends a turkey to the Cratchet family. He
    gives funds to the charity.
  • He cares for God.

20
Even his exclamation at the beginning of the last
section reveals an awareness of from where his
restoration  comes.
  • "Heaven and the Christmas Time be praised! I say
    this on my knees Old Jacob, on my knees!" (71). 
    Scrooge goes directly to church when he walks out
    on Christmas morning.
  • He re-affirms his connection not only with his
    own family but with the family of the human race.

21
  • He went to church, and walked about the
    streets, and watched the people hurrying to and
    fro, and patted children on the head, and
    questioned beggars, and looked down into the
    kitchens of houses, and up to the windows and
    found that everything could yield him pleasure
    (74).

22
  • Thus Scrooge's conversion is not just of one who
    has a terrible scare one nigh and who will
    probably revert to his old ways as soon as the
    scare wears off.
  • His experience is recognizable to any Christian
    as the process which God goes through while
    redeeming a soul.
  • Scrooge's redemption is not a cartoon
    exaggeration it is a challenge to us all to
    follow. 

23
  • As the narrator says "it was always said of him,
    that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any
    man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be
    truly aid of us, and all of us!" (76).
  • But the narrator also knows that this is not a
    goal which can be reached only by human means,
    and concludes with the final truth that "as Tiny
    Tim observed, God bless Us Every One!" (76).  
  • Indeed, God Bless all of Us this Christmas time
    and through the whole year.

24
Works and Cites Cited
  • Townsend, James. Charles Dickens Cheshire Cat
    Christianity. Journal of the Grace Evangelical
    Society, Autumn 1999Vol 1223 http//www.faithalo
    ne.org/journal/1999ii/J23-99d.htm 8 Jan. 2007.
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