Tonight I found my Christmas spirit while watching an almost fifty year old video with my grandson. Like Charlie Brown, I just didn’t quite feel the real spirit of the season. But, I’m sure I’m not alone. There is so much going on in our land, calculated and uncalculated, to destroy the recognition of the holiday that is central to our relationship with our creator. It’s easy to be bummed about the evil in our land and forget that there is so much that is still right. There is still hope… just not in our government.
A Charlie Brown Christmas tells the story of our diminutive hero feeling down and depressed because he didn’t get any Christmas cards… or any respect. He and his friends try to put on a nativity play, and get nothing but chaos. Nothing but chaos, until Linus takes the stage and quietly tells the story of the birth of Jesus. It is when all the distractions are silenced and we direct our attention to the simple story, that we get back to understanding the real meaning of the season – and the peace it brings.
While there is much we need to do for our families and our country, it means nothing if we lose sight of the reason we fight the good fight. We can’t withdraw form the pursuit of justice, but there are times that is best to shut off Rush and Beck and Hannity to join Linus in looking at the Christmas story as told in the Gospel of Luke. We spend a lot of time figuring out how to do what we have to do… it may do us good to spend some time considering the why of our efforts.
Spending an evening with your kids, or grandkids watching innocence of the simple story of A Charlie Brown Christmas may just be the cure for the post election funk. There’s nothing that says you can watch it by yourself either. It’s amazing how much wisdom comes from the mouths of these lovable animated characters. It will be time well spent.
The power of the message is so strong that some atheist got his panties in a wad when some elementary school students went to see a live performance of this very same play. Imagine a big, bad, self-sufficient atheist quaking in his pumps about something a boy, with his blanket in hand, recites to children in a theater.
The spirit of the season will not be found at the mall. It won’t found at the many parties and most of the programs we attend this time of year. It can be found in the eyes and heart of a child as he or she hears and understands the real Christmas story.
It may be fun to watch Ernest or Abbott and Costello, or whoever save Christmas, but the truth is Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior… and needs no saving. Those promoting our state religion of secular humanism try to contain the celebration, but they cannot do anything about the event itself. They can deny it, but it will still go on. Our choice is whether we stand up for the redeemer who hung naked on the cross for us or will will cower before those who want us and the true story of Christmas to be out of sight and out of mind.