Wednesday, December 10, 2008

That's What Christmas Is All About, Charlie Brown

"And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid ... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord."

"And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men."

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." - Linus Van Pelt

I can remember as a young child watching A Charlie Brown Christmas for the very first time. Forty-plus years later it still remains my favorite Christmas program. When Linus steps into the spotlight and gives his famous "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown" speech, I'm suddenly propelled back to my youth and experiencing the same warm fuzzies that I felt back then. The solemnity of Christmas was never the issue; my parents made sure that I was taught adequate adoration with simultaneous fear of the Lord. But way back when I first heard Linus recite the Bible verse that showed me the true meaning of Christmas, I learned that the babe in swaddling clothes was going to grow up to love and save me. I remember feelings of peace and awe, and an excitement that had nothing to do with those presents under my Christmas tree. So much inspiration from a half-hour cartoon. Who could have known way back in 1965 that this one single program would touch so many hearts so many years later.

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