A Clip from ‘Scrooge’ (1951)

Patty and I got all misty-eyed, as we do every Christmas, watching the Alistair Sim classic, Scrooge (aka A Christmas Carol), this afternoon. What a pair of softies! I mean, what’s the big deal? It’s only redemption!

Here’s young Scrooge at Mr. Fezziwig’s Christmas party, with one of the classic folk dances of England and Scotland–“Sir Roger de Coverley.” Published back in 1695, this dance turns up in several 19th century novels.

Have any of you out there ever danced it?

Anyway, out of all the fine movie versions of A Christmas Carol, this one is our favorite. Hankie, please!

By Request, an Encore: ‘Redeemed’

As more and more of this fallen world is harangued and lectured to by indoctrinated teenagers who know only what they’ve been “taught,” it’s a tonic to remember that we are redeemed–by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

I’m sure I posted this a few days ago, but hey, we do encores here. And we need to hear hymns and psalms: it’s an antidote to culture-killing.

And so, requested by Joshua, here’s Redeemed, by Big Daddy Weave. With lyrics that are well worth reading.

‘My Love’s an Arbutus’

It’s my custom, around Christmas-time, to post this, My Love’s an Arbutus, performed by the Fairhaven Singers. I’ve never seen an arbutus, and there’s but a tenuous connection between this song and Christmas. It’s used as Alice’s theme–the girl young Scrooge should have loved and married–in A Christmas Carol, the 1951 classic starring Alistair Sim. We watch it every year, and it never, never fails to move us. If its message of redemption and renewal is not the Christmas message, well, then, I don’t know what is.

A Tale of Redemption

So, once again we’ve watched Scrooge, the 1951 classic treatment of A Christmas Carol, starring Alistair Sim.

Aside from its being simply a wonderfully fine piece of art, what is it about this movie that makes us crave it every Christmas season? Why does it never fail to deeply move us?

Because it’s about getting something that every one of us desperately needs: Redemption.

Take Scrooge’s tour of his own past, in which he sees himself turn, slowly but irresistibly, into a cold-hearted monster of selfishness, ingratitude, and amorality. As someone who does like a stroll down memory lane, I have to admit that there are certain dark alleys that I have to hurry past. But who hasn’t got scenes he would rather not relive, would not even wish to see again? And Scrooge is put through the whole nine yards, all his sins revisited.

And that’s just setting him up for a grim peek at his future…

But the good news, the best news, is that Jesus Christ is born and has the power to redeem us from our sins, to wash us clean of them; and He has already paid the penalty for them. That is the whole point of the story.

Imagine: you’re an old man with boxcar-loads of money which you’ve never spent, and suddenly your eyes open and your heart revives and you can turn that money loose to do an endless amount of good–and turn yourself loose, too. You are redeemed! Christ rules, and your sins have no more power to drag you into your grave. Suddenly, amazingly, you’re free. Free to love, and be loved; free to give, and be given to; free to hope, and to give hope to others–and you will never, ever run out of love and benevolence. The more you give, the more you can give.

That’s why Scrooge is so all-fired happy as the movie ends. And the Lord who has given him that happiness, as the Spirit of Christmas Present says, lives and acts not only on Christmas Day, but in every day throughout the year.

If that doesn’t make you feel like dancing the polka, what will?

Now They’re Sliming ‘A Christmas Carol’

Water pollution is bad; but easier to control than spiritual pollution.

So the Perky Publicist has invited me to read a new book. I will not mention the title or the author. It is a book that takes Charles Dickens’ beloved classic, A Christmas Carol, and dunks it in “transgender” poison.

The author used to be a man. Each and every cell in his body is still male, with an XY chromosome, but now we’re supposed to accept him as “a woman” or else be branded haters and homophobes. The fact that he is not a woman is irrelevant. Facts always are, these days.

As Dickens wrote it, A Christmas Carol is a story of repentance and redemption. Scrooge learns to see his sins for what they are, he is heartily sorry for them, and the sovereign grace of God turns his life around, and saves it.

But in this happening-now book, “Christmas” is all about sin not being sin anymore. You don’t have to repent because it’s not a sin, after all, and Jesus Christ does not have to redeem you because the Bible was wrong all along about certain types of behavior being abhorrent to God. The book “breaks through boundaries of traditional Christmas stories by including a transgender character” and “encourages families to accept those members who may be ‘different.'”

It asks us to affirm sinners in their sin, denying that it’s sin and rejecting the authority of Scripture.

Christ went to an awful lot of trouble for nothing, didn’t He?

Let me tell you what scares me. It’s the thought that God will simply run out of patience with us, wash His hands of us, turn His back on us, and not intervene as we drown ourselves in our own filthiness. But God is not a man, that He should lie, and God will keep His promises. Somehow He will redeem and regenerate us.

In spite of transgender Christmas stories.