The Spirit of “Old Fezziwig”
By Jim Adelmann
1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord,[a] forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to my servant David:
4 ‘I will establish your descendants forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’”
The Ghost of Christmas Past grants Scrooge the vision of his former self as the apprentice he once was at the warehouse of Mr. Fezziwig. In this apparition it is Christmas Eve. Scrooge and fellow apprentice, Dick, are told by their jolly employer to close up early so they might celebrate with a party.
Present-day Scrooge acts like “a man out of his wits” as he watches this glorious scene from his past. He’s totally and deliriously engaged as he remembers the wonderful music and dancing, food, drink and merriment – all provided by “Old Fezziwig” for the enjoyment of his employees.
Scrooge overhears his former self pouring out his heart in praise for his employer. The Ghost of Christmas Past turns to present-day Scrooge and asks why he praises “Old Fezziwig” for such a small thing that only cost his employer “a few pounds of mortal money.”
“It isn’t that, Spirit,” replies Scrooge, “He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil … The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”
It seems that the writer of Psalm 89 would say of “Old Fezziwig” that he was a man after his own heart. His way of making the lives of those around him pleasant and light reveals a heart filled with praise for the steadfast love of God.
During this season of Advent, as we wait for the One who comes to bring us ultimate joy, let us honor the spirit and model of “Old Fezziwig” by continually praising God in our hearts, and by choosing in every moment to make life a pleasure rather than a toil for those around us.