In the Millennium Chorale's repertoire this holiday season was a song from the Broadway musical, A Christmas Carol by Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens.
This year I've been rereading the original novella written by Charles Dickens in 1843, and wondering how this story has remained popular for 166 years and what its message is for today's world.
The protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, is the quintessential miser whose opinion of the Christmas season is, "Bah Humbug." Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's clerk, is the poor father of a large family including crippled Tiny Tim. The Cratchits have few worldly possessions, but the family celebrates a joyous Christmas.
Through a series of ghostly visits, Scrooge revisits his life. Able to view the past, present and into the future, he sees the error in his ways. I believe the message of this timeless tale is that change is possible - even for an old curmudgeon like Scrooge. At the end of the story he promises to, "honor Christmas in his heart and to keep it all the year."
The words of the song the Millennium Chorale sang are similar to the lyrics of Thankful which I wrote on at Thanksgiving. "In your heart there's a light, as bright as the stars in heaven. Let it shine through the night," - 'til each child is fed, 'til all men are free, 'til the world becomes a family. In other words, we must endeavor to make a difference with,"kindness by human kindness and light the world with our love."
As Tiny Tim said so many years ago, "God Bless Us Everyone!"