Shining a Spotlight on What Christmas Is All AboutDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
At our house, we love our Christmas movies and Christmas specials. During Advent, we watch Elf and the original animated Grinch and Mr. Bean’s hilarious nativity scene.
But one special trumps them all: A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Nearly 50 years ago in 1965, Charles Schulz and the Peanuts gang were already struggling with an overly commercialized holiday season. Even Charlie Brown himself loses sight of the true meaning of Christmas when he tries to direct his friends in a Christmas pageant. Finally, he shouts in frustration, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!”
So Linus drags his blanket to center stage, stands alone in a simple spotlight, and recites Luke 2:8-14.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
Back in 1965, executives at CBS thought the scene was a mistake. Nobody wants to hear the King James Bible recited on TV, they thought. But audiences loved it. They needed to hear Linus’ answer as much as Charlie Brown. In my house, we need Linus’ answer every year.
Jesus is more than just a baby in a manger. He is more than just a good teacher and a storyteller. He is more than our prayer buddy who takes our requests to God. Jesus is our savior. He is Christ. He is the Lord, fully God and fully human.
During the insanity of Christmas, take time to reflect, to meet with family and friends, to shine a spotlight onto the true meaning of Christmas. Presents and decorations and cookies are fun ways to celebrate, but they are not our reason for celebration.
Christmas is the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. His life is a model for how we should live. His death for our sins is a model of the humble nature we should have. And his resurrection is a promise that someday we will know peace on earth and good will toward all people.
Merry Christmas from everyone at The High Calling!
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Has your Christmas season this year felt extremely busy and hectic or more calm and peaceful? How can you shine a spotlight on the true meaning of Christmas this season?
PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for Christmas presents and Christmas dinners, for Christmas parties and Christmas specials. Thank you for family and friends who share these joys with us. Thank you most of all for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins and rose on the third day to save us by grace.
Thank you for Christmas. In Christ’s name. Amen.
P.S. from Mark: Marcus Goodyear is Senior Editor of The High Calling for Foundations for Laity Renewal and author of the award-winning poetry collection Barbies at Communion. He lives in Kerrville, Texas, with his wife and two children.
Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.