A few weeks ago I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas while Nancy put finishing touches on the Christmas tree. Watching the show has become a part of our annual Christmas tradition and may be part of your Christmas tradition as well. According to www.usatoday.com, A Charlie Brown Christmas celebrated 50 years on air making it the second longest running holiday show. It is second only to Rudolph, which has been televised one year longer. Charlie Brown makes us laugh and makes us think.
Charlie Brown certainly is the star of the show, but my favorite part of the show happens when Linus tells us the true meaning of Christmas as he quotes Luke 2. Linus is well read for a 5 year old and can speak deeply on matters of theology and philosophy. But, Linus is 5, and is beset by fears of the world around him. Linus is rarely seen without his security blanket despite protests from his sister, Lucy. Linus’s blanket made him invisible when Sally sought him as a boyfriend and became a weapon when Linus needed defense. Linus usually turns to his blanket when he is afraid.
On this night, Linus lets go of his blanket for a moment as he teaches us about peace and fear. The answer to what Christmas is all about is the birth of Jesus. Jesus has come to bring us peace and to replace our fears. Before we begin following Jesus, we are like Linus in that our fears are present in everyday aspects of our lives. We are afraid that we might disappoint people. We are afraid of economic collapse. We fear medical catastrophes. We fear removing the warning label from our pillows. We are afraid of what people might do to us. We fear death. In Christ all of our previous fears are removed and replaced with one, holy fear of Jesus. We fall at His feet and worship and we are filled with great peace. Like Linus we lay down our security blanket and ponder the simple wonder of the God who came down.
What worries and fears run through your mind this Christmas season? Walk with us to the hillside farm in Bethlehem lit by a sky full of stars. Gather around the manger with people from all walks of life, and hear the sound of animals as they settle in for the night. Look at this little baby and know that He came to this world for you. He came to replace your fears. He came to forgive your sins. He came to give you hope. He is here. Let your fears fade and worship before Him.