Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
Blog Number 43
December 14, 2020
Reflections on A Charlie Brown Christmas
A while ago I was asked what my favorite Christmas movie was. My answer is simple. I have two. My favorite is “The Nativity Story” from 2006 and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” from 1965. I love the Nativity Story because it is a very realistic, and historical view of Jesus birth. I love “A Charlie Brown Christmas” because it shows how we as imperfect people, in an imperfect world, find the joy of Christmas through focusing on “the true meaning of Christmas,” the love of God reflected in Christ’s birth.
Charlie Brown, of course, is a lovable loser. He never does anything right. He is constantly bullied by Lucy. Nothing ever seems to go right for him. Now, at Christmas, he can’t quite find himself to be in a joyful mood. Everyone else is happy, but he is not. Reluctantly he agrees to participate in all of the “programming.” He is appointed to direct the Christmas play. Of course, as is the case of Charlie Brown’s life, this doesn’t go very well either. He is in a worse mood than ever.
Linus, forever the prophetic voice, gives Charlie Brown sage advice. He tells Charlie Brown that he has to focus on the “true meaning of Christmas.” That is, of course, God’s love for us in the birth of Christ in a manger. Linus reads this to Charlie Brown from Luke’s gospel. When Charlie Brown is able to hear Luke’s gospel he is then able to celebrate Christmas and join in the singing of “Hark The Herald Angels Sing.” It is a community celebration where everyone’s importance is affirmed.
Our world, like that of Charlie Brown, is not perfect. There are times when we are bullied and feel like a loser. Sometimes the celebrations around us make us feel worse about ourselves because we don’t feel festive. Job loses make us doubt our self-worth. Now we worry about disease and some of us mourn the loss of loved ones. We feel inadequate and out of control.
And yet, if we focus on the story of God’s love, instead of the cares of this world, we will be ready to rejoice. I invite you to read the Christmas story again. Or, better yet, come to church in person, or online, and hear it again surrounded by your neighbors. What does Christmas mean? It means that God loves you enough to be born in a manger to share life with you. Share it with him and you too with feel like rejoicing this Christmas.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/