Freedom to Go 'n Grow Together in Christ
Linus can tell us the true meaning of Christmas, and Scrooge represents what is possibly the next most famous Christmas story ever told.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 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.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.
Luke 2:8-14 (KJV)
As someone noted elsewhere, observe that Linus drops his security blanket when he says 'Fear not.'
I noticed that Obama didn't have anything to say about Jesus when commenting on the 50th anniversary of 'Charlie Brown Christmas.' Apparently the show was all about poor little neglected trees. But let us all make sure that we remember what Christmas is all about and thank God for the gift of his son Jesus Christ.
For a better take on Christmas than our fearless leaders can produce:
The World's Greatest Gift Meets Humanity's Most Desperate Need.
The (very distant) second greatest Christmas story ever told.
Sadly, Jesus is never mentioned in A Christmas Carol, but that doesn't mean that the story does not contain a worthwhile message for the Christmas season. Still, Linus has a better understanding of the true meaning of Christmas.
Perhaps the third most famous 'Christmas story' begins:
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
As enjoyable as The Night Before Christmas is (and who among us can't quote significant bits of it?), perhaps the follow variation (author unknown) will give us some more serious food for thought this Christmas season.
'Twas The Night Before Jesus Came
'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed.
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.
When out of the East there arose such a clatter.
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!
The light of His face made me cover my head
It was Jesus! returning just like He had said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He said "it's not here" my head hung in shame.
The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound.
While all the rest were left standing around.
I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.
In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There's only one life and when comes the last call
We'll find that the Bible was true after all!
George MacDonald's The Gifts of the Child Christ is available here. You never know what Christmas gifts the Lord may bestow on you.
If you have never read O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi, give it a read here.