A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has always been a favorite of mine. However, I must confess that it is not through Dickens’s novel that I was first exposed to this classic piece of literature. No, I, like probably many of you, followed Ebenezer Scrooge through classic movies, television shows, plays, and, yes, Scrooge McDuck. In fact, it was not until recently that I read the book in preparation for this study. I’m so glad I did!
Many of Dickens’s other novels and short stories made their way into my formative years’ reading, including Great Expectations and David Copperfield. A Christmas Carol, unfortunately, was never “required reading” in school. Too bad…it should have been.
It’s amazing how one book’s vernacular has become commonplace during the holiday season. We’re accused of being a “Scrooge” if we lack yuletide cheer, and we have fun reciting Tiny Tim’s charge, “God bless us every one.” And who of us has not uttered the occasional “Bah Humbug!” when standing in long checkout lines during the holidays?
Dickens wrote the novel both because he needed money at the time and to dictate a powerful social message that he wished to convey. Now, over 160 years later, this message is still being played out in movies, commercials, greeting cards, and our own subconscious, where we, too, challenge ourselves to be full of the “Christmas spirit,” as Scrooge was that Christmas morning. It is possible that no other single piece of fiction has had the kind of sweeping cultural influence that can be attributed to Charles Dickens’s first Christmas story.
In addition to the Christmas spirit, there are many themes that run deep through this book, most notably the themes of redemption and free will. It is fascinating to watch Scrooge’s transformation from a mean, penny-pinching miser to a loving, generous benefactor. Scrooge has the wonderful and frightening opportunity to see visions of the future where he is told of things that “may” be, not what “will” be. He has the power to change the future with his present actions…and so do we!
Scrooge’s transformation was life altering and not limited to the Christmas season. It was permanent. Each day after, he desired to be a better man for himself and his fellow man.
If you, too, had the opportunity to see how your present actions would impact the future, what would you change?
One action I thought I would take is to write this study, A Christmas Carol Bible Study Guide. I’m not an expert on Dickens’s literature nor a biblical scholar, but I do enjoy writing studies. I hope that reading this classic novel, watching one of the many movies, and thinking through the corresponding study questions will draw you closer to the only one who can provide lasting transformation—Jesus Christ.
A Christmas Carol Book & Study Guide
A Christmas Carol Book and Bible Study Guide includes the entire book of this Dickens classic as well as Bible study discussion questions for each chapter, Scripture references, and related commentary.