A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my favorites. I remember as a kid seeing the special logo that came up before a seasonal cartoon came on and getting super excited that I was about to watch cartoons at night! It was a special treat that is lost on kids today who can find cartoons 24/7 if they have cable. And so Christmas was the season of joy.
Now, since I grew old enough to watch cartoons and pick up the message behind the slap-stick, it is pretty amazing to me how critical Charles Schultz was of the commercialism of the holidays. I can’t say I disagree. With “Black Friday” being the symbol of insanity (to this introverted personality at least) and at least displaying how nasty people can get for a piece of metal and plastic, the question has to be asked, “What’s so great about Christmas”?
The angels answered that questions definitively.
And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:10-14 (ESV)
Christmas is great because:
- There is no need to fear. Because of Christ all whose faith is in Him are forgiven. We are free from our sin.
- This message is filled with good news leading to joy overflowing. Circumstances can’t change that. They can only force us to cling to it all the tighter. Joy comes from Christ, not the world around us even with the good it contains and despite the bad.
- God sent His only Son to be man…fully man. He experienced the same kind of hurt. He was betrayed by one of his closest companions. He was ridiculed and humiliated. He was abused in horrific ways. He prayed, “Father forgive them.” He loved us while we were enemies. He showed us that being human doesn’t mean we can’t love unconditionally.
- True praise of God is possible and even expected from us, as broken as we are, and one day He will return and true and complete Shalom will come with him. All will be put to right.
Yes there is much to rejoice in this Christmas. Don’t get lost in the rest.