+listen: podcasts www.metronlive.blubrry.com
I – A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, 1st published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843 & illustrated by John Leech. A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley & the spirits of Christmas Past, Present & Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.
Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol during a period when the British were exploring & re-evaluating past Christmas traditions, including carols, & newer customs such as Christmas trees. He was influenced by the experiences of his own youth & by the Christmas stories of other authors, including Washington Irving and Douglas Jerrold. Dickens had written 3 Christmas stories prior to the novella, & was inspired following a visit to the Field Lane Ragged School, one of several establishments for London’s street children. The treatment of the poor & the ability of a selfish man to redeem himself by transforming into a more sympathetic character is the key themes of the story. There is a discussion among academics as to whether this was a fully secular story, or if it is a Christian allegory.
A Christmas Carol captured the zeitgeist of the mid-Victorian revival of the Christmas holiday. Dickens had acknowledged the influence of the modern Western observance of Christmas & later inspired several aspects of Christmas, including family gatherings, seasonal food & drink, dancing, games & a festive generosity of spirit.
II – 4 And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.
(Isaiah 61:1-4 AMPC)
III – “I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.” – Charles Dickens
IV – “Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.” ― Kevin Michel
V – Dr. Wayne Dyer’s famous quote, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” is absolutely true…it’s been proven in the world of quantum physics & is explained as ‘The Observer Effect’…Jesus said, “Unless a person changes his/her mind (μετανοέω: metanoeó), he/she cannot enter the Kingdom of God”…and, ideally, the Christmas season is all about changing the way we look at things…You don’t have to jump off of a bridge, & have Clarence the angel jump into the icy water after you to save you, to show you that you’ve really had a wonderful life…you can realize it right now, & change your present by changing the way you look at your past…you don’t have to have 3 ghosts visit you in the middle of the night to scare the bejeezus out of you, & cause you to have a completely transformational paradigm shift about life, about money, about relationships, & about yourself…you can have that paradigm shift right now, right here, in the light of day, & enjoy the season for what it is…you don’t have to steal Christmas from the people of Whoville, only to realize that Christmas is something more, & then have your heart grow 3 sizes bigger…you can look at someone differently & experience rapid heart-growth right now…you don’t have to witness a massive angelic choir serenading shepherds out in the middle of nowhere, in the dead of night, for no apparent reason…you can embrace the concept of “peace on earth, good will to the people” in your own relationships right now, right where you are…you don’t have to wait for eastern magician-astrologers to be led by celestial light to a foreign country to worship an infant King…you can follow your own star right now, into another dimension, & worship your God in your own way… Today is a great day to connect with the nexus for the visible and invisible realms, where a virgin can somehow conceive, &, inexplicably, the Word can actually be made flesh & dwell among us…today is a great day to allow Him to appear, and to allow your soul to feel its worth…you need a little Christmas, right this very minute…you need a little Christmas now…” – Jim Swilley
VI – (Genesis 28:16, 17 – The Message)
VII – “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” – Ebenezer Scrooge