One of my favorite movies of all time is A Charlie Brown Christmas. I refuse to buy it on DVD, because being able to watch it just any time seems to take away from the “special-ness” of it. No, I wait patiently until it makes it’s once a year appearance on ABC. I sit there in my PJ’s sipping hot chocolate and munching popcorn, letting the warm feelings of Childhood take over for a precious half-an-hour.
The message in this movie is the best part!! Not just the message, but more importantly, the way it is delivered. I spoke with someone recently who said he grew up in the church, but it wasn’t until he saw “A Charlie Brown Christmas” that he really understood the Gospel. How can this be? How can a kid go to church week after week, listen to sermon after sermon and not understand the Gospel, but then watch a 30 minute cartoon and finally get it?
Here’s what I think. In the Gospel according to Linus, the “Good News” about Jesus is presented in it’s simplest and purest form. It is not clouded by church doctrine, denominational differences or a judgmental tone. Nope, Charlie Brown asks, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” and Linus lays it out for him. No visual aids, no 20 minute musical number, just a humble recitation of Luke Chapter 2, the story of the night Jesus was born.
Here’s my prayer. The next time a friend cries out, wanting to know the meaning of life…please help me follow Linus’ humble example. Help me to get out of the way of your truth! Help me to desire to be the moon, reflecting your light, not trying to generate a light of my own in vain.