“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
Charlie Brown uttered that famous line in the annual television episode, which coupled with many other beloved Christmas specials at this time of year, such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooge and even The Wizard of Oz etched Christmas into our collective Canadian soul as generally one of the best times of the year.
“I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus,” says Charlie Brown.
“Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.
“I just don’t understand Christmas. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.”
“Charlie Brown,” responds Linus in his typically astute way, “you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.”
Well, Charlie Brown isn’t the only one.
Many people today want to shut Christmas down, limit it to a nice winter break, take “Christ” out of Christmas, exclaiming that Christmas is exclusive, too religious, and even infringes on people’s rights. We are told to tone it down.
We should celebrate Christmas to the full! Oh, it’s not perfect, but Christmas does bring great joy to families and children everywhere. We should celebrate it with wisdom as merrily as possible.
“But,” some protest, “Christ wasn’t even born in December!”
Indeed, it is almost impossible to nail down the actual birthday of Jesus. Some say spring; some say fall. Truth is He never actually told us to remember his birth but to remember his death. He died to save us.
According to the Bible, and historical orthodoxy, Jesus was born for more than a pretty Christmas card. He was born as a ransom, given by God to literally die for our “sins,” which means we’ve missed the mark along the way. Isn’t it amazing how we can celebrate a birth and totally ignore it at the same time?
No one argues that there’s something wrong with us, that we are broken and need fixing. But self-help gurus and man-made religions don’t cut it.
Christmas is different. It is not man reaching up to God; it is God reaching down to man.
So celebrate it we must! Celebrate that while there is a problem, there is a cure!
Celebrate! Not just that a baby was born but that a Saviour was born; God gave His son.
Try unwrapping that gift this Christmas.
By Pastor Rick Barker – Cariboo Christian Life Fellowship Church