(Warning: reliving an old school memory) I remember being in our “70s hip,” shag carpeted living room, sitting in footed pajamas on the floor with my special little blanket and waiting with that intense, slightly shaking anticipation for the “CBS Special” logo to twirl around the screen of our huge, furniture-esque Zenith television. And here’s why… once I heard and saw that logo, I knew what was coming next… the Charlie Brown Christmas special!!! I loved it then… and I love it now. It’s classic, and Charlie Brown’s question “What’s Christmas all about?” is as relevant today as it was in 1965 when the show first aired. We still haven’t figured it out as an American culture.
Throughout December, we’re going to explore the real meaning of Christmas using Charles Schultz’ A Charlie Brown Christmas and God’s Word. There are so many themes that this classic Christmas special presents for us to wrestle with as a culture. And just as God’s Word rights and re-centers us to the true meaning of Christmas—God with Us—so did Schultz. The climax of A Charlie Brown Christmas captures it all… little Linus ambling out center stage, bathed in a solitary spotlight with his blue security blanket telling us the real meaning of Christmas:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:8-14)
This is the real meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown. This is the real meaning of Christmas… God leaving heaven to become a helpless babe and put on the frailty of human flesh… out of love… to give us hope… for His glory. This December, bring your friends, family, neighbors, fellow students, co-workers to Northshore’s Sunday Services at 8:45 am, 10:45 am, or 5:45 pm. They will be fun, and they will point us all to the real meaning of Christmas.