Keep It Simple


    If you receive the Buyers Guide, did you notice anything different in the most recent offering? That’s right - it was twice as thick! The retail shops are pulling out all the stops to grab your attention with their store busting sales. Of course I’m not saying anything you haven’t seen with your own eyes. Christmas displays have haunted our vision since the leaves on the trees started to turn color.
     For the last 50 plus years, the majesty and awe of Christmas is being replaced with neon flashing lights and pagan symbols. Our spiritual senses have been deadened to the truth of Christmas by the non-stop drone of secular consumerism.
     About two weeks ago I felt led by the Lord to watch a cartoon Christmas special called, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Produced over 50 years ago, it’s creator Charles Schulz perfectly depicted how the Christmas has been adulterated in recent times.
As the cartoon begins we see Charlie Brown looking expectantly into his mailbox for a Christmas card. Sadly - no card. Feeling dejected, he travels to his friend Lucy and tell her he is feeling depressed with all of the commercialism of Christmas. She agrees, saying, “Christmas is nothing but a lot of stupid toys. What I really want is real estate!” Not much help there.
     His disillusionment was only increased when he visited Snoopy. The dog was decorating his dog house with strings of lights and corny decorations in hopes of winning a neighborhood contest. Charlie Brown replies, “Good Grief”.
Even Sally, Charlie’s sister wasn’t helpful. She asked him to dictate a letter from her to Santa. The letter read, “Dear Santa. Just send money, preferably tens and twenties.”

     Toward the end of the story, a totally frustrated and emotionally depleted Charlie cries out, “What is Christmas about anyway?”
     Then Linus steps into the spotlight and answered Charlie Brown’s question, and you know what he said - because you have seen that Christmas special. He quoted Luke 2:8-14:

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, good will toward men!”

     Did you hear that Charlie Brown? Did you hear the angels in Heaven? Scripture sings out that a Savior has been born to save you from your sins! A Savior to lift you from your depression and grant you inner peace!
     Do you believe that Charlie Brown? Believe in Jesus, the Savior, this Christmas and you will find it to be the answer to all the confusion, chaos and conflicts in your life.

Keep it simple Charlie Brown.

Merry Christmas,
Pastor Dan