A Humble Reminder On This Christmas Eve
No, this is not about ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ specifically, but it is about the true meaning of Christmas. The late great creator of Peanuts, Charles Schultz, released his classic Christmas story in 1965. Clearly, much has changed since that time.
It is not as though we have all been on the same page about anything, but certain observances are deeply rooted in the foundation of our society; Christmas from a Judeo-Christian perspective is one of them. However, as we have devolved into materialism, and have elevated commercialism and mass consumerism over the true reflection of this special time of year, the meaningful observance of Christmas has become skewed – perhaps even lost in the big picture of life. Even wishing one another ‘Merry Christmas’ has become offensive to an ever-growing number of people over time.
So when the sight of an animated figure reciting a brief biblical account of Jesus’ birth becomes a sobering reminder of just how much we have separated ourselves from the real meaning of Christmas -and truth overall – it is as humbling as it is revealing.
And isn’t that the story of Christ himself?
Though He has always existed as part of the Trinity (God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost/Spirit), He humbled himself among man becoming God in the flesh – a baby born to a virgin, wrapped in cloth and placed in a lowly manger. There was no room in the inn to provide necessities or comfort for an expecting Mary and Joseph, who traveled from afar to pay their taxes. Jesus’ earthly parents were not of prominent status, but they were obedient to God, and that alone is why they were chosen for the task of being Jesus’ parents on earth. They were not famous or among the elite class in their day; they were not of riches nor did they seek attention for themselves. They simply listened, trusted and obeyed God.
Frankly, Jesus was not welcomed into this world except by those who listened, trusted and obeyed God. For those who did not know or believe, Christ was a threat – even as a baby. When wise men were making their long journey to see the promised Messiah – the King of the Jews, King Herod felt threatened and ordered little boys under the age of two to be senselessly slaughtered.
Jesus remains a threat even now to this world’s established order – a world doing everything possible to erase Him from public discourse, influence and yes, even from a holiday we set aside in this nation to acknowledge His birth. While attempting to destroy or fundamentally transform His institutions, the world persecutes His people – those who simply listen, trust and obey Him.
Jesus did not (nor does He) have to do anything for us. He did not have to endure brutality and disrespect from the people He created, but He did – and He did it all out of love – a love we cannot even begin to comprehend. What kind of love must He have for us to have humbled himself as a baby born into a world that did not want Him, knowing what would happen to Him?
What is equally remarkable is that He not only knew what He would endure, but He knew what would become of us without Him. If not for His love and His willingness (obedience to His Father), we would be without any hope, purpose, future or meaning in this life. There would only be eternal suffering in the end.
I, for one, am so thankful and humbled to know He chose to love us despite our baggage – the whole sorry lot encased in our frames.
Just as a humbled boy in a cartoon picked the most loathsome, insignificant and unimportant tree over all the tall, prominent and beautiful ones, so are many of the most loathsome, insignificant and unimportant souls plucked over the seemingly tall, prominent and beautiful in the world to do the most significant and important tasks of all.
Upon hearing Linus recite the birth of Jesus, Charlie Brown had an epiphany; he experienced great joy in finally finding the true meaning and significance for the Christmas holiday beyond the clutter and cries of, “Buy! Buy! Buy! Sell! Sell! Sell!’, and the little tree everyone criticized and made fun of was no longer a cringe-worthy eyesore; it was a beautiful Christmas tree once it was cared for and loved.
May the message of God’s gift to the world be shared so that all of us broken Charlie Brown Christmas trees will come to know the true meaning of Christmas: what it is to be truly cared for and loved by Jesus!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
Image Source: falco/Pixabay
License: CC0 Public Domain
Lisa currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her artwork, a ton of books and her cats.
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