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“It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times.”

Jerry Comforts Tina, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Jerry began his sermon with the words of Charles Dickens opening line of his book, A Tale of Two Cities. And indeed on Sunday morning, at Christ Alive, it was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

For on Saturday, Ernie Hudson had died. (follow the link and scroll to November 4th for more about Ernie). Despite their raw grief, Ernie’s wife Tina and her daughter had come to Christ Alive for the Sunday morning service. Already scheduled was the dedication of our great-grandson, Brody Wake. And so, honor was paid to Ernie, and condolences to his family and many friends. And to Lindsi and Ryan were given charges to be faithful parents of Brody and his big brother, Evin.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. For in that one service, the full cycle of life was seen; the fresh promise of life and the sure inevitability of death.

Brody had just slobbered all over Jerry.
Ryan is Mike and Melina’s son.
There was standing room only, so we must buy more chairs this week.
And so today, I offer this tribute to two fine families: first to Tina and to the memory of Ernie. Second to Ryan and Lindsie Wake.
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My devotional blog is here.
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America Arizona Christianity/Religion Christmas Culture England Goodness of man Holidays Life My Family Photography Social The World

A Christmas Carol in Lake Havasu

How many times I have read, heard or seen–at Christmas and other times–various renditions of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

is unremembered by me, but I assure you the number is a hefty one. Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year, and next to the Bible’s (and particularly St. Luke’s rendition) story of the birth of Jesus, this Charles Dickens story is my favorite literary Christmas tradition. It has been performed all over the world in every kind of venue imaginable from Shakespearean theatres to those of amateur underpinnings.

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It’s a wonderful Christmas story, although not at all an account of the birth of the infant Jesus that night in Bethlehem. But the principle of the story is definitely of godly origin for it tells the transformation of a grouchy, negative old man into a giving, thankful, happy being. Tiny Tim’s enduring words God Bless Us Every One are as pertinent today as they were during those dark and dank days in London.

Jerry bought tickets earlier in the week, and last night we sat in small auditorium here in Lake Havasu to watch a fine staging of this enduring classic. It was a small, but elegant production, effected by a talented local cast. The costuming was beautiful. I found a few of the lines difficult to understand, and the lighting was a bit dim. The small amount of live music was jolly and well done. Loved the fogging, the swirling snow and the intimate play of the actors to the close audience.

The star of the show was the story line itself, and Scrooge who spoke the powerful words of redemption and transformation. What prodigious talent was exhibited in Charles Dickens who once said to his friend and biographer, John Forster:

“One is driven by irresistible might until the journey is worked out!”

The working out of his journey has endowed these many generations with capital and rich writings–literature that transcends time and culture–as relevant today as at the raw moment when first story-germ was quickened. Of all, A Christmas Carol must surely stand at apogee. It is splendid drama.

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Illustrations and images from Google images

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My devotional blog is here.