Charlie Brown’s True Meaning of Christmas
Sometimes, during Christmas, I feel like Charlie Brown, who was bewildered at the vanity of the holiest day of the year being drowned in commercialism. But he was encouraged by a friend who reminded him what it’s really about. Linus illuminated the meaning of Christmas with a passage from scripture. Our unlikely hero, strengthened in his conviction, pressed on with his vision. With the voice of Linus echoing in his mind, Charlie took pity on a sickly tree. He saw something in it that others did not. He was determined to lift it up to a place of honor. His friends looked down on him for believing in this foolish plan and called him a blockhead. But in the end, they rallied around him and the tree and gave praise to God.
Men and women like Charlie Brown, who see the unseen possibilities and follow their dreams will always be seen as fools. Like the men from the east who followed the star that brought them to Bethlehem; I’m sure their friends also considered them fools. I was reading the 3rd chapter of Mark this morning, where Jesus appointed the 12 apostles. A few verses later, his family said he was out of his mind. (Mark 3:21) Translated in today’s language, they called Jesus a blockhead.
And so is anyone who follows the road we’re on.
We tell them we hear the voice of God; a voice they’ve never heard.
We tell them God wants to do miracles; something they’ve never seen.
We tell them an angel delivered a message; they roll their eyes and laugh.
We see strength and virtue in the drunkard.
We see holiness and beauty in the prostitute.
We see wisdom and grace in the addict.
We see what they cannot see.
What blessed fools are we who take strength in what God has declared.
Seeing the unseen is not a celebration of foolishness. True fools bring shame to themselves. Christmas is a time of celebration for those who believe in the impossible and marvel at the miraculous. Everything about Christmas from the appearance of angels to the virgin birth speaks of the supernatural, the unlikely, and the impossible.
In the medical profession, we need to change how we see things. It’s easy to hop on the bandwagon and ridicule the homeless, drunken, addicted, and mentally wounded people we care for. Just do what everyone else does.
In this season, and every day of the year, like Charlie Brown, we should choose to believe in the impossible. We must close our eyes to what we see in the present and believe in what God wants to do in the future. Like the pitiful tree, we must believe there is something honorable and virtuous that God placed inside every person.
God came to a manger and took on the form of man. He came to rescue us from our sickness, suffering, and sin. He had a vision for mankind that was greater than we could have imagined. Let’s partner with Him in this plan of redemption. In the same way Charlie Brown brought out the best in a pitiful tree, God is in the business of taking lives that are wrecked and ruined and making them into something beautiful.