Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
Luke 2:8-14 (NLT)
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
Christmas is finally upon us, and just like that first Christmas it is a time of rejoicing! However, for some of us we may not see it as a time of rejoicing. Perhaps, like myself, you are thinking about the loved ones who will not be with you this Christmas. Personally, I am thinking about my Mother and Father, who went to be with the Lord several years ago, and more recently my brother John who went to be with the Lord only a few months ago. As painful as it may be to think of a loved one who has past on at this time of year, for me it is helpful to think back to some of the things that made Christmas special for us when we were younger. When I do this my mind goes almost immediately to some of the Christmas shows I used to watch on TV (and I still watch them today). Unquestionably, the greatest of those shows for me is A Charlie Brown Christmas. In this story Charlie Brown is feeling a bit left out and abandoned by people. He simply was not feeling it! Does that sound familiar to anyone right now? As the show progresses Charlie Brown cries out in frustration, “Can anyone tell me what Christmas is all about?” It is at this point that his best friend Linus steps in and quotes the above Scripture passage from Luke 2:8-14. It is perhaps one of the best TV sermons ever delivered. It changes Charlie Brown’s attitude toward Christmas as well as that of his friends. Maybe we should let it change ours too? Maybe we should remember what Christmas is really all about? Perhaps we should consider that if it wasn’t for the reason that first Christmas happened to begin with, Jesus coming to the earth to save us, that would have the hope of one day being reunited with our loved ones in a place where there is no more sorrow and no more pain. Do you remember the song that ended that great Christmas show? If my memory serves me well it went something like, “Hark the hearald angels sing, ‘Glory to the new born King.’ Peace on earth a mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.” Merry Christmas Charlie Brown! Merry Christmas everyone.