-Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
The short tale of Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley, The Spirits of Christmases past, present, and yet to come, and stingy old Ebenezer Scrooge himself has always been a favorite tale at Christmastime. It has actually been years since I've read the novel, but every Christmas I can recall has involved seeing a stage production, watching a movie adaptation, or even participating in a community theatre musical. A Christmas Carol is at the heart of the season, and I was so excited to find this little book about a book that has meant so much to so many people.
52 Lessons from A Christmas Carol, written by Bob Welch, is a nice companion for the holiday season. With each lesson rounding out to 3-5 pages, it is not difficult to read a couple each day. The lessons range in content from how one should see Christmas as a child, be aware that one makes the chains that shackle him- or herself, and that seeking forgiveness is a sign of strength. Woven throughout are scriptures to back up these messages.
There is so much to be learned from the characters of this tale and from Charles Dickens' insights to human nature. Whether you must, like Bob Cratchit, realize that even in the midst of tragedy you are needed by others or if you must understand as Scrooge does, that one person's actions can affect a host of others for good or for bad - there is something for each person to apply to their own heart.
Perhaps my favorite lesson is number 39 - Grace Changes Everything. What a message! How very different would the story be if Scrooge visited the past, present and future with the spirits, yet woke up in his bed and decided that his way was still right and there was no need for change? Grace is a gift that is hard to understand - it is freely given. The merriment that Scrooge displays when his heart has truly changed is a testament to the joy given when a life is fully surrendered to Christ. Without grace, there can be no true joy.
I'm so pleased to have this title in my collection and plan to reference it every year. It has been a joyous addition to my Christmas celebration and I know it will be so again in the future!