Season’s Greetings…I just completed my ministry travel for 2015. What a joy it was to pull out the CHRISTmas music once again. To remember a Savior was born in Bethlehem. To sing the songs of the season…What Child is This?, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, and, yes, Jingle Bells, though upstate New York delivered zero snow for dashing.
Recently, I heard a local pastor share a scene from Charles Schultz’ movie classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Charlie Brown is busy trying to get the Peanuts gang to cooperate during rehearsals for a Christmas pageant. To say they were distracted would be an understatement. Finally, with so much emphasis on consumerism and commercialism, in frustration, Charlie asks, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
Center stage, the spotlight focuses in on our friend, Linus. Clinging to his blue security blanket, he begins to recount the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke Chapter Two…
…there were shepherds 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, “Fear not! I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord…”
(one of my roommates gave me this sweet, Luke 2:11 cross; I captured it next to my favorite figurine, the Praying Santa; perfect for this post!)
The pastor pointed out that the exact moment the angel says, “Fear not!”, Linus drops his security blanket and it remains on the floor as he continues telling the story. I actually watched it on T.V. to see for myself, and it happened just as he said. It’s as if the angel’s proclamation of a Savior proves a distraction of another kind. And, for those few fleeting moments, Linus ditches his blanket of lesser comfort, for something better.
I wondered in what ways we have been distracted. In what things we have found security. In what I have found security…a gig? a house? a car? a spouse? reputation? acclaim? health? my parents? my friends? my devilishly good looks? (O.K., I added that last one to see if you were paying attention). In all seriousness, Linus leading the way, I felt that little tinge of conviction for the times I’ve relied on these things perhaps more than I should. Blessings from above to enjoy and to share, yes. But, not to morph into a form of idolatry in our hearts.
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
What are you clinging to this Christmas? What brings you security? Will you let the Good News of a Savior prompt you to hold those things a little less tightly? And, if God should lead, to let them go completely?
Some radio folks asked me to share a favorite Christmas memory. The first thing that came to mind was when my son, Cameron, was little and just beginning to learn Spanish. Excited about his discovery, one day he exclaimed, “Mom, if “mas” means “more”, than “Christ-mas” must mean “more Christ!” To respond to Charlie Brown’s question, that’s what Christmas is really about. From the mouths of babes.
Here’s wishing you and yours more Christ this CHRISTmas.
Glory to God in the highest…