2016 Murillo Christmas Village Video

 

I don’t golf. I don’t collect cars.  So, I learned how to make a village that told the story of Scrooge.  I hope you enjoy my little village video and the pictures.

In 1843, Dickens was the most famous writer in England.  Early that year, he made a strange request.  “Show me the most horrible parts of London.”  He set out with a guide late one night.  He thought he had steeled himself for what he might see. But nothing could have prepared him for the unbridled horror of seeing abandoned children living like animals in sub zero weather.

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Scarred for life, Dickens vowed he would strike a “sledge-hammer blow . . . on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.”   He penned a tract entitled An appeal on behalf of the poor man’s child.

When and how the miracle happened is a matter of debate.  Many say that God gave Dickens a special message.  God told him his pamphlet would only have a limited impact but an original story would have endless impact.

Thus he created the sledge—hammer:  A Christmas Carol.

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The following are excerpts for Charles Dickens info.com

It only took Dickens about six weeks to write A Christmas Carol.  Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit helped speed up the process.  When Dickens wrote he “saw” his characters much like the way that young Ebenezer Scrooge saw the characters from the books he had read.  As Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol he said that the Cratchits were “ever tugging at his coat sleeve, as if impatient for him to get back to his desk and continue “the story of their lives”.

“Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.”   This line appears toward the beginning of the novel.  Dickens included this because of a dream.  He had dreamt that one of his good friends was pronounced to be “as dead Sir . . . as a door-nail”.

The Cratchit family is based on Dickens’ childhood home life. He lived in poor circumstances in a “two up two down” four roomed house which he shared with his parents and five siblings. Like Peter Cratchit, young Charles, the eldest boy, was often sent to pawn the family’s goods when money was tight. Like many poor families, the Cratchits had nothing in which to roast meat. They relied on the ovens of their local baker which were available on Sundays and Christmas when the bakery was closed.

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A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843.  Initially six thousand copies of the book were printed.  More copies were ordered after the first printing was sold in only five days.

Why does the story of Scrooge impact me so deeply?  First, it gives me—as well as most who have heard the story—a deep need to help the poor.

 

However, it hits me just as hard in another way.  It shows the power of creativity with a cause.  It shows us that we can be original without softening the blow of truth.  It shows us that God can deliver a sledge hammer to a corrupt culture in ways we never imagined.

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Scrooge rebukes cowardly Christian celebrities who can’t declare the whole counsel God and think it they are being creative when they hide truth.

Scrooge is also a spanking to the lazy preachers who refuse to press in and find a fresher way to deliver timeless truth.  We are not supposed to give out the truth like a cold plate of stale food.

Scrooge reminds us that God stands ready to give us power to pierce a culture with new weapons that are both fresh and effective.

 

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The Murillo Family Dickens Village built by Mario Murillo and filmed by Michael Murillo

It takes a special woman to permit her entry way to become a construction zone for a Christmas decoration.  I want to thank my amazing wife for her patience.  The entire story of Scrooge is represented in the village you will see in the video. I hope you enjoy coming into our home and being a part of how we celebrate Christmas.   Now check out the video

 

I guess you can tell that I love the story of Scrooge in a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  I cannot count the number of times I have read it.

This year Scrooge takes on an eerie significance for many reasons.

First of all, were you aware that at the time that Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol there was a war on Christmas?  In fact, when Scrooge ranted to his nephew Fred, “ If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart! “,  Dickens was parodying the sentiments of not a few people of that time.

Christmas had fallen into disfavor, even among the Victorians and many just stopped celebrating the Birth of Jesus.  England, like America wondered if her “Exceptionalism” was over.  Many wondered if the promise of Christianity had expired.   Government programs were bitterly failing the poor in the hungry 1840’s.

In the midst of all of this, Charles Dickens had a supernatural encounter.  It happened after Dickens asked to see the worst part of London.  He was horrified to find feral children.  Literally, they were wild animals and roamed the streets with no human to look after them in the bitter cold.  Dickens vowed to use his considerable popularity as a writer to save these children.

He wrote a scathing tract entitled AN APPEAL ON BEHALF OF THE POOR MAN’S CHILD.  Just before he published it God woke him from sleep with a message.  “If you write the story it will affect but one generation, but if you write the story that I will give you it will touch endless generations.”   With that, he wrote, or rather wrote down the story that we all know as A CHRISTMAS CAROL: The story of Ebenezer Scrooge.

If you had to write a story that was guaranteed to fail in such a cynical age you would make it about an old miser.  There is no sympathy or attraction to such a character and yet, for reasons we can now see, it caught fire immediately.

This year the tale of this miser has yet more significance.  Christmas reminds us that somewhere out there in the midst of the darkness of evil… God is at work.  He is not surprised that Iran wants to vaporize Israel.  He is not confused by vain wrangling on North Korea.  Russia, China, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt and every other boiling nation have no surprise and pose no threat to our God.

Somewhere out there, there are people willing, as Dickens was, to lay celebrity on the line, obey the voice in the night for the greater good.  In remote places there are people you and I have never heard of ready to be the next miracle to a generation.