I love to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special every year. I can recite whole sections right along with the characters. I grew up watching it, and it’s just not Christmas without it.
A few years ago, we had some fun conversations about which of the characters we see most in ourselves. Someone has suggested that Chris is Linus, not because he carries a blanket, but because he tends to be philosophical and theological.
So who am I? Sally is in love with Linus – and with $10s and $20s. Violet talks about Pig Pen “taking the curl out of my naturally curly hair!” But I’m afraid I see way too much of myself in Lucy’s bossy ways – “I oughta slug you!”
Some of us may be Charlie Brown, searching for the real meaning of Christmas. Charlie really tries to throw himself into the Christmas play – “you need involvement,” Lucy tells him. He sees Snoopy’s decorations, and is not inspired. His tree isn’t appreciated. He doesn’t get any Christmas cards. In desperation, he yells, “Can’t anybody tell me what Christmas is really all about?!”
If, like Charlie Brown, you struggle to find meaning in this season, I have good news for you! Linus comes to the rescue, and his answer to Charlie Brown is still the answer for us in 2014:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.