Here’s my New Year Credo article as seen in the Newark Advertiser
“Marley was dead, to begin with.”
Sometimes an author comes up with a first line that is so memorable that almost everyone knows it and can tell you the title of the book just from those few words. Read or hear the 6 words above and you know it’s “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
I love that book. Every year in the lead up to Christmas I read it again, and I never fail to be moved by the story. I think it’s as close to perfection as a piece of writing can be. We all know the basics of the story: even if we haven’t read it we’ve seen it referenced in numerous adaptations on film. The visits of the three Ghosts of Christmas to the joyless miser Ebenezer Scrooge and the way that his life is transformed so that he becomes the epitome of the Christmas Spirit, full of bonhomie, generosity and goodwill.
I think we can learn a lot from old Ebenezer. We can all change and become better people and what better time to start than as Christmas turns over into the New Year. Why not try keeping those good Christmas feelings towards your fellow humans going, not just pack them away with the decorations? Scrooge was permanently changed by his experiences in the story.
Of course the story that should change us all for the better at Christmas doesn’t depend on ghostly goings-on in the night. It’s the story of the coming to earth of the most important and influential figure who has ever lived. That manger baby that we hear about, Jesus Christ, went on to deliver profound lessons as to how we should live our lives. We should love God and we should love our neighbours as much as we love ourselves he said. What a different place the world would become if we could do that throughout the year ahead.
Another writer came up with a memorable opening line:
“In the beginning was the Word…”
That’s the start of John’s gospel. Why not have a go at reading the rest of it, learning about that man Jesus and what he said and did?
Have a great 2019.
“God bless us, every one.”