This was originally posted on our family blog in 2011, and as we watch A Charlie Brown Christmas again today I was reminded of it. I read it again, and thought it might bring you peace as it has me.
….Speaking of holidays, I was struck by something last night at our Christmas Eve Eve service. It wasn’t just the message, though I thought that was great as well. Toward the beginning they played the oh-so-familiar clip of Linus explaining “what Christmas is all about”. I’ve linked it here before, but in case you also can’t watch it too many times, here you go –
Now this may be a “duh!” moment instead of an “a ha!” moment for some of you, but for whatever reason I had never caught the significance. When Linus says, “Fear not…”, he drops his perpetually-attached security blanket, and doesn’t pick it up again until the end of the scene.
I was pondering how poignant that was, when the message sort of echoed my sentiments. “Jesus is the reason for the Season”, as many of us have learned and “don’t forget”… at least not if you asked us. But I wish I stopped more than a couple of times a season to extrapolate that. Sure, a cute little porcelain baby was born in an immaculate stable somewhere to picture-perfect onlookers (surely read with a touch sarcasm, right?). But it wasn’t to make a pretty nativity scene for under your tree, or wherever you might keep one. It wasn’t simply a nice birth story, but the greatest gift of all time.
The Father gave His only son. And the Son left his place in Heaven to live on earth – among (and experiencing) physical pain, betrayal, hunger, etc for decades. And then to give an unbelievable sacrifice of His very life, on a torturous cross because we – the ones who physically nailed him up there, you and I, and generations to come – needed a Savior. We weren’t good enough on our own to deserve anything but death, but we were – we ARE – loved.
And yet? Even that incredible sacrifice (and the opportunity for life forever with him) is just part of the story. Even while we’re on this earth, in the midst of our own struggles and pain, in the midst of blessings we think are what life is all about… there’s more. Life here can be one with purpose. We were created perfectly for what God has planned for us – not just the great things we get to enjoy, but the sacrifices we are called to make, the things we don’t understand, all of the pieces that make up God’s plan. The perfect, way-beyond-our-capacity-to-comprehened plan. The one with eternal significance.
But wait, there’s more (surely read with a touch of Billy Mays tone, right?). While we’re doing life here? We can have peace. In reflecting on our blessings and in crying out to God because we don’t understand what we feel is a world (and/or a life) completely out of control… we can fear not.
What an incredible gift.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.