By now, just about all the Christmas specials have already begun to run. As we get closer to December 25th, I would advise you to tune to TBS for a full 24-hour “A Christmas Story Marathon”, as well as the traditional showing of the popular Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve, on NBC.
One special that I look forward to every year is “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” That’s one of my favorites. Charlie Brown has the blues; he doesn’t know what Christmas is all about. Lucy tells him it’s about getting presents; his sister, Sally, says it’s about Santa Claus; Snoopy thinks it’s about winning the neighborhood lights and display contest; the Christmas pageant turns into a dance-a-thon, with all the kids complaining about their parts.
All of this activity only leaves Charlie Brown more miserable. And in despair, he asks “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
Christmas is more than decorations and toys, trees and gifts, and greetings. It is not merely a word of goodwill lightly spoken and soon forgotten in the unruly cries of conflict.
Christmas is a message of peace on earth among men who are pleasing to God. It is Immanuel, God with us. It is God bending low to lift men up out of the sin and mire of a world which has forgotten God and His will for lost men. It is God in a cradle, the Eternal in a tender baby’s flesh and form.
But Christmas does not stop in Bethlehem. It reaches beyond to Calvary, to the empty tomb, and to the throne where the Savior sits, waiting for His enemies to become his footstool. It is the good news of salvation to all men who will receive it.
As the shepherds came to the manger, saw the Christ child, and went forth to tell the glad tidings; as the Wise Men came from afar to worship and give gifts to him, so should the faithful today bow before Him in worship, praise, and consecration; and then go forth to declare the gospel to a lost world.
The main reason why I love “A Charlie Brown Christmas” so much is not the entertainment value, but particularly in how the special ends. In the end we get Linus’ famous reading of the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke. He begins, “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field.” Then, after quoting the rest of Luke 2:8–14, he says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’”
That is what Christmas is all about!