Posted on December 10, 2020 / Matters
Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.
– Oren Arnold
In our Senior School assembly this week, we stopped to take a moment to look at the story of Ebenezer Scrooge from the classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
At the start of the tale, we meet Scrooge who is a bitter old man. He appears to have given up on human happiness. It would appear that the purpose of his life, is to take what he can from anyone and everyone. He has closed his heart and has allowed hurt and anger to brew deep inside him. Time has deepened these wounds for him.
Throughout the story Scrooge is challenged about who he is and his outlook on life. By the end we see a man who has been able to let go of anger, to genuinely forgive and has made a choice to change how he lives his life.
His heart becomes lighter and he no longer carries a burden of anger and hurt. He learns the joy of giving to others, and he is set free to start to live again.
What an incredible story of the power of redemption and change.
If I am being completely honest, I think we all have some of Ebenezer Scrooge within us. Each one of us could recognise hurts or disappointments that we hold onto and let fester. Perhaps we have even hurt someone else? Do you resonate with the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge?
I wonder what it would be like to be able to let go of those hurts and to be free. Over this strange year of ours, I think we have all had more time to be reflective on life and the choices we make. In discussion with my students, they have shown that this time of lockdown has been quite profound in shaping their outlook on life. This has in turn deepened their desire to help others and they are more aware of the interconnectedness of humans across our world.
Here is my Christmas challenge to us all.
Maybe the best gift you could give someone this Christmas, is your forgiveness?
Maybe the best gift you could give yourself, is letting go of some disappointment or hurts.
Christmas can be an incredible time to heal and to forgive. A time to start afresh as we enter a new year.
Each year as I sing the carol “ Oh Holy Night” my heart lifts on this line
‘A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn’
Our world was ready and waiting for Jesus to come, and he came. This was just what our world needed.
The thrill of hope! I wonder what you are looking forward to most about 2021.
This is my prayer for us all.
May our minds dwell not in the past, but on the bright future ahead.
May our hearts have room for forgiveness and grace.
May our homes be open to others as we share whatever we have and give freely to others.
May we never forget the valuable lessons we learnt this year about the importance of human relationships and connection.
Acting Head of Religion Studies
9A Pastoral Mentor
Farm Curriculum Co-ordinator