The Ghost of Christmas Past

Scrooge would be haunted by three spirits. The first was the ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’….

For many this year Christmas will be very different. Covid restrictions will mean that families, usually together, will be apart. The ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ will come as previous Christmases are revisited. Years of laughter, ordered chaos and happy memories will merge with disappointments, regrets and thoughts of those no longer with us.

Scrooge’s ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ took him back to previous Christmases:

  • His schooldays: other children celebrate a happy Christmas whilst Scrooge sits alone.
  • He sees his family – his father who he didn’t get on with; his sister, whom he loved, was now dead.
  • He’s working as an apprentice – parties, celebrations, food, merriment and the kindness and generosity of his boss, Fezziwig.
  • He’s taken back to lost love, his engagement broken by his pursuit of wealth.
  • He’s working; Marley is dying; he’s completely alone…

Scrooge is learning important, timeless lessons:

Although Scrooge could return to his past he couldn’t change his mistakes; he couldn’t live in past joys. The past was past. We can visit but can’t – and shouldn’t – live in past Christmases…

Scrooge had built his life around money. He was learning that stuff is unimportant. Scrooge’s joys and regrets were all centred around people and relationships. What many will miss this year is the people to share Christmas with…

Returning to his past brought Scrooge understanding and wisdom; however he had to escape from the ghost of his past and move back to reality. He was starting to realise that there was hope…

…Musing on timeless words of hope: ‘For the lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ (Revelation7:17)

Such hope can live alongside and make sense of past joys and regrets…

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