Standing for Truth and Defending Your Freedom
Standing for Truth and Defending Your Freedom

Why Charlie Brown still rules

by Frank Wright, Ph.D.

Dear Friends,

My favorite Christmas movie is A Charlie Brown Christmas.  This 50-year-old production is one of a handful that our family watches each year at Christmas, usually holding a cup of hot chocolate with those tiny little marshmallows floating on top.  I like this movie best because it asks and answers the single most important question of the Christmas season.

For those who have seen it, you will remember that Charlie Brown, slightly depressed as always, bemoans the commercialization of Christmas.  When coaxed by Lucy into directing the community Christmas play, Charlie Brown becomes frustrated by the worldly attitudes of the other kids and cries out in anguish: “Isn’t there anyone who can tell me what Christmas is all about?”

Charlie Brown’s faithful friend Linus then walks to center stage with the answer.  Engulfed in a single spotlight and with a cadence that captures the wonder of it all, Linus begins:

“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 good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, 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, good will toward men.”

After concluding his soliloquy, Linus walks back over to Charlie Brown and says: “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

I love this little animated Christmas classic for two reasons.  The first is that Linus’ recitation from Luke chapter two is perhaps the clearest proclamation of the Gospel you will hear on television during the Christmas season.  Of all the other Christmas movies we will watch as a family, none is more direct and faithful to that starry night so very long ago.

The second reason I love this movie is that Linus’ peroration changes everything.  When Linus declaims the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown and the other kids remember the Christmas story anew and it changes them—their attitudes, their actions and their worship are all affected by the truth.  And so it is with us.  The coming of Immanuel—God with us—changes everything.

What a great reminder that nothing this Christmas season is greater than the truth that “Unto you this day in the city of David is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  And what a powerful reminder to those of us who love and serve Him—that the clear and faithful proclamation of this truth still changes things—it still changes the hearts and lives of men and women forever.

This season, as we celebrate our Savior’s birth, may the Babe of Bethlehem be born afresh in our hearts!  And as you contemplate these things, remember that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  Your work this year for the sake of the Kingdom brings glory to the Most High God.  As for us here at D. James Kennedy Ministries, we consider it a privilege to labor with you in this portion of the Lord’s vineyard.