One of my favorite Christmas traditions is watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, where some of the sweetest dialogue happens among children who are trying to understand the meaning of this holiday.
Linus has been one of the best-loved characters; he’s a child philosopher who speaks truth and wisdom from the perspective of a small boy. He’s the calm to Charlie Brown’s chaos, the reasonable response to Charlie’s emotional reaction.
One of the most moving segments in this program is when Linus recites the Nativity story from the Bible. Hearing the narrative from the voice of a child adds a sense of awe and wonder that older people reading it often miss. They’ve heard it so many times; it’s so known that the wonder of the word picture being painted is lost in the callousness of tradition and countless retellings.
We had the chance to hear a Christmas program that wasn’t a typical concert performance. Instead, each of these kids memorized a story from the Bible, beginning in Genesis with the creation of the world and man and woman’s choice of deception and control instead of love and obedience to God, to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Each story ended with, “And this is a true story from the Word of God.” My friend Peggy helped with occasional prompts, but I was struck by the clarity and sincerity of the voices of each of these children. Their words rang with the truth, and I had to ask myself why so many adults find it difficult to believe these “true stories”.
The intolerance of the celebration of Christmas has ramped up considerably over the past couple of years. Some of it may deal with the fact that people have been trying to dismiss God from life for a long time. Christmas programs in schools have given way to winter programs. Nativity scenes have been banned from many cities and public places.
God can’t be wiped out. He won’t be.
The historical relevance of the birth of Jesus can’t be rewritten. His coming into the world has changed everything for us.
Because of love.
God so loved the world that He gave us His Son.
Jesus is not a means of divisiveness, though that has happened. He’s not a symbol of aversion, though that too has been a matter of discussion.
God gave us His Son to reunite us with Himself. To give us the guarantee of a future with Him in heaven.
The shepherds who first heard of the coming of this King were frightened by the display of heaven’s army of angels. But the angel’s encouragement was one of hope.
“But the angel said to them, “DO NOT BE AFRAID; for behold, I bring you GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY which will be FOR ALL THE PEOPLE. For this day in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11
We need to be reminded that there is nothing to be afraid of in the coming of the Messiah; there is only much to be celebrated.
Great joy for all people.
Those kids had the right idea about the true story.
How do you read it?