Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stop Me If You've Heard This

Have you ever sat reading a blog and thought you've just read this?  This time of year it's amazing how we're all starting to sound alike.  MERRY CHRISTMAS.  Next week we'll be HAPPY NEW YEARing and I'm guessing early in January some will start to get organized, while others will work on loosing weight... I know, I know, some will attempt both and raise chickens and children.  I love blogging.

Well, have you ever sat in church and thought, "I've read this somewhere else..." ? Every so often I'll read Luke 16:19-31, the story of the rich man and Lazarus and I always get a funny feeling I've heard this before and not as a reading from the New Testament. 

It's a story Jesus told his followers about a rich (unnamed) man and poor Lazarus.  The rich man has everything and more and Lazarus has nothing.  They both died and the poor man ended up in the bosom of Abraham and the rich man got Hades.  From his very warm perch the rich man looks up and sees Paradise and asks for a bit of water but there is no way to give him comfort.  So he asks for someone to go and warn his brothers so they don't end up like him.  But he is told that his brothers have Moses and the prophets.  The rich man had Moses and the prophets too and he was in misery so he asked to have someone from the dead go visit his brothers.  The story ends with Abraham telling the rich man, "If they will not listen to Moses or the prophets they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead."

The first thing that jumps out at me is - wait a minute, Abraham was rich. The second thing is not all poor people are sweet and loving and good. And, finally, the thing that really gets me going is... this story sounds like Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

From my bookshelf, a Christmas present from Marylyn (1996), tree skirt by me (2010)

Well, Mr. Dickens didn't send Moses and the prophets, he sent people from Scrooge's past (that's right - a few rose from the dead). You know the story - Scrooge saw kindness, gentleness, generosity, forgiveness, joy, goodness towards his fellow man. The ghost from the future brought home Scrooge's fears and a glimpse at the evil we can do to one another when we forget we're all in this together.

You may not have time to read the book this Christmas, but in a pinch the movies will do.  My favorite version is titled "Scrooge" (here in the US it is also called "A Christmas Carol") and stars Alastair Sims from 1951. 

From IMDb

The George C. Scott version of "A Christmas Carol" from 1974 is good, too.

From IMDb

And if you're in the mood for the musical version go with 1992's "The Muppet Christmas Carol" starring Kermit the Frog and Michael Caine.

From IMDb

I haven't studied Charles Dickens' life enough to know where the inspiration for A Christmas Carol came from and I am just guessing that he sat in church one day and heard the passage from Luke.  Still, here we are reading each others blogs and thinking, how many different ways can we say "Merry Christmas?" and with each happy post we get a glimpse of the same subject with a slightly different take on it.

I hope you get a chance to experience this classic tale in some form and that you will feel there is redemption and hope for everyone and, of course, I hope you believe that mankind is your business.

Merry Christmas!



TexWisGirl said...

a very nice post. :)

LV said...

Thank you for this very interesting and informative post. I learned something. You did a great job.


First, let me say that I love your header with the chicken planter and I specially love the blue teapot. Thank you so much for such wonderful information as I always loved: "A Dickens Christmas" style, just transformes to past times. Wonderful post. Thank you too for your lovely visit to my post. Wishing you the Merriest of Christmas. FABBY

Flora said...

Very interesting!!

Antiques And Teacups said...

GREAT post...right on the money! Our favorite in the 1970s musical Scrooge with Albert Finney which you can still find on VCR.
Merry Christmas and thanks for visiting!

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Linking memories. Interesting observation, one I am going to think about too. Glad you wrote it down. I had one of those memories and lost it because I didn't write it down, a book to a movie as well.

rubyslipperz said...

thank YOU so much for telling this story! Yes, I've heard it before...but, it is a story that NEEDS to be retold...and re-listened to
...especially for me. I will most certainly - after your kind reminder - take a moment this holiday season to watch the movie. I am also going to make an effort in the near future to read the book (I've actually never read it before, bad of me, huh?)

May you and yours be blessed with a SAFE and HAPPY Holiday!!


Dragonfly Treasure said...

Most interesting!

Of course, copy the ornament away!
Merry Christmas!

YONKS said...

I just happened to see the Jim Carrey version of Christmas Carol this week, my favourite version yet! What joy and comfort you bring. It's been wonderful finding you this year and here's looking forward to the next year of blogging fun and friendship dear one.
Bless you Helen!

talesfromagarden said...

Well said and a great and timely post!Have a wonderful Christmas and yes come January the diets will begin(again!)Turkey and trimmings here too with Mass at 6.00pm on Christmas Eve and a little lie in on Christmas morning,my youngest is 22!