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The meaning of Christmas!

December 8, 2015

I love the TV show “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I have watched it every year for many years–maybe it is just the right level for me, or maybe because Charles Shultz had a deeper meaning for all of us to understand. The show starts out with Charlie Brown telling Linus this: “Christmas has come but I’m not happy.” He sounds like so many people we come across each day. They have tried everything to add or bring happiness to their lives. In fact, this time of the year does not bring happiness but sorrow, sadness, and despair for so many people in our country. Did Christ coming to this earth intend to bring happiness, joy, and peace?

So Charlie Brown decided to seek help. Why wasn’t he happy?  After all it was Christmas with all the lights and gifts and celebration.

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Charlie Brown speaks to Lucy, his shrink, “Instead of feeling happy I feel let down.” Has life let you down? Has your work, your ministry, your talents, your family, or your spouse let you down? No matter how hard we try, or what we bring into our lives for fullness and contentment, it never seems to bring happiness. What is missing?  What will bring you joy and fullness? Charlie Brown finally reaches a place where he yells out, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about!”

Have you reached that place…where you have searched for meaning in the Christmas season? Maybe you are searching for meaning in life? Sometimes when Christmas is over, we feel a great let down, we have not been fulfilled by the season, or the gifts, or the family. It has to mean more…and it does.

Linus calmly steps up and recites the story of the birth of Christ in the gospel of Luke.

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  And everyone went to their own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  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 that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a 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 heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Then Linus says, “That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”

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