Scrooge asks the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Be: ‘Are these the shadows of the things that Will be or are they the shadows of the things that May be only?’
Did Scrooge have to remain as he was? Did he control his own fate?
Are we victims of our past, controlled by forces outside ourselves, powerless to change?
Scrooge resolved to change: ‘I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man.’
As feelings changed actions changed. He laughed! ‘Really for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs!’
He noticed and enjoyed people. Instead of being mean and miserly he was generous and jovial. He bought a huge turkey, giving it anonymously to the Cratchit family; he joined his nephew Fred in a party; he raised Bob Cratchit’s salary…
The Archbishop of Canterbury expressed Scrooge’s new-found compassion in his Christmas-Day address:
’… it matters fundamentally that the poor are cared for, that the hungry are fed, that the sick have access to the health care they need, that children are educated, that the elderly are cherished and protected.’
He described Jesus’ birth:
’… the light came into the world and the darkness has not overcome it. Not because we feel it or believe it or it works for us, but because the light of the birth of Jesus reveals God as God is.
Jesus Christ reveals God leaning into the darkness and defeating it through embracing every aspect of our sufferings and struggles, anxieties and fears…’
Scrooge concluded: ‘I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.’
Archbishops and Scrooges discover that the message of Christmas isn’t just for Christmas.