God Bless us, every one!
Long-time readers will remember that, in addition to “White Christmas,” my favorite Christmas movie is “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.” This movie IMHO is highly underrated which is a crime I tell you, a crime!
Jim Backus voices Mr. Magoo. You may also recall Backus as Thurston Howell III on – I think this is right – the Pulitzer Prize winning, “Gilligan’s Island.” Holy smokes, just how old am I?! The animation in “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” is downright quaint by today’s standards. And the singing, well let’s say that Mr. Magoo is not being invited to the Grammy’s any time soon.
This 1962 first-Christmas-special-made-for-TV is a classic. It’s a classic (and therefore "must see") because the moral of Charles Dickens’ 1843 story by the same name never gets old. And this is where Mr. Magoo comes in. The prose in Dickens’ original story is often hard to get through, all that ye olde English and such. Mr. Magoo, as Scrooge, makes the Christmas Carol come alive. The language is easy to understand and (to be honest) cartoon characters help a lot.
What is the moral of the story? “What Mr. Magoo Can Teach Us About being Born Again” was my first post a few years ago about “A Christmas Carol.” And it still holds true. Mr. Magoo, after being visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future literally becomes a new and better man once his hardened heart is softened and he allows love to come in. Magoo is born again.
That’s what re-discovering the birth of Jesus, year after year, is about as well. A heart hardened by ever-present bad news, the disappointments of life, and the heaviness of stress can be mysteriously softened when looking at an innocent baby in a manger. Every year at Christmas we are invited to experience the wonder…of remembering and experiencing new birth, our birth.
Dickens’ has Scrooge say:
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.
May the Spirits of all Three – Father, Son Holy Spirit (Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer) inhabit you all year long as you experience your own re-birth this season. Because, if Mr. Magoo can be “reborn,” well then, you can be too. Thanks be to God.