A Message from Pastor John
For over 50 years, viewers of A Charlie Brown Christmas have been reminded that,
although we can all lose “the Christmas spirit,” if we look past the glitter and
sentimentality that have come to characterize the weeks leading up to December 25 and
remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place we will find the joy,
hope, and peace we were looking for in the first place.
Amidst the frenzy of decorating and preparations for Christmas Day, Charlie Brown finds
himself feeling depressed but uncertain of exactly why. Surrounded by the commercialism
of the holiday, he grows busy with time-honored traditions like searching for the
“perfect” tree, participating in a Christmas play (which is stripped of all biblical meaning),
in exasperation he finally wants to know if there’s anyone who knows what Christmas is all
In response, Linus recites part of the narrative from Luke’s gospel:
“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 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 and goodwill towards men.”
Linus reminds Charlie Brown (and us) that Christmas was all about Jesus—nothing less and
nothing more. Jesus, and Jesus alone. Glory to God on the highest, peace on earth, and
goodwill to us.
Linus also exemplifies how expressing our own faith can help other people embrace the
true Christmas spirit. His own passion encourages others to also be passionate about the
true meaning of Christmas. In the same way, when we become passionate about Jesus and
the way we celebrate Christians, others notice and their hearts can be transformed.
I encourage you to set aside a few moments each day to re-engage with the Christmas
message by reading again with fresh eyes the scriptures about Jesus’ birth and the
prophets’ foretelling of it, by praying for re-awakened wonder at God visiting us in human
flesh, and by reflecting on our own need for a savior. God is with us! Thanks be to God!