Updated: Jan 9
By Cortney Wright
Teacher of Classical Composition, Literature, Grammar, Spelling, Bible Study and French
Charles Dickens arrived in Boston for his second American tour in November of 1867. Tomorrow, December 2, marks the day he launched a six-month reading performance schedule, traveling as far south as Washington D.C., as far west as Niagara Falls, and as far north as Portland, Maine. It was on this tour that Dickens performed A Christmas Carol for the first time on American soil.
At the beginning of the story, Ebenezer Scrooge was a “tight-fisted, hand at the grindstone…a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster…He carried his own low temperature always about with him…”
Mae Carden's Meditation #7 says, “Deep in my heart, I know what I want of life.” Want can mean desire. Scrooge knows what he wants, or desires of life- money, control, and pride- which he convinces himself is wisdom. In fact, his last name, Scrooge, means “to squeeze” and he does squeeze money, control, and power from everyone around him. He is satisfied criticizing others for what he perceives is humbug and foolishness.
However, want can also express a lack, and Ebenezer Scrooge lacks “the fine thoughts, the happy thoughts, that will make his life happy.” His first name, Ebenezer, means “stone of help.” In the Bible, an ebenezer is a place of defeat, lamentation, and finally, victory. Ebenezer is visited by three spirits and mercifully, his heart is changed, though not without pain. His self-satisfaction is defeated. He laments to the last Spirit, “Hear me! I am not the man I was! I will not be the man I must have been…”.
Finally, Ebenezer becomes a living victory, honoring “Christmas in [his] heart…[living] in the Past, the Present, and the Future.”
“He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.” What Scrooge wants of life no longer reflects a want of happiness. What he possesses is not material, but the knowledge of “how to keep Christmas well,” or in other words, the fine thoughts that will make his life happy.
Our finest thoughts come from, and turn us to, He who is Wonderful, our Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Our Past, Present, and Future.
Each week at the Thursday devotional, students from one class lead the school, parents, and guests in prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, scripture recitation, a meditation, and an historical thought. Family and friends are welcome, Thursdays 8:30-9:05 am.