One of my must-see movies of the Christmas season is A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s short, sweet, and to the point. I’m not one who talks all that much about things being better “way back when,” but there is something special about a movie for children that so clearly delivers the truth of Scripture. The entirety of the movie builds up to the moment when Charlie Brown asks the question of the ages; “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Without hesitation, Charlie’s boy Linus steps up and lays some truth on him, quoting Luke 2:8-14 (KJV).
Linus gets it. I find it encouraging that in an age where the cartoonist, Charles M. Schultz, was railing against the commercialism of his day and lamenting the distraction it was to the true meaning of Christmas, he chose to insert the hope that someone out there gets it. If no one else did, Mr. Schultz did, and he used his gifts and abilities to share the truth with his audience. A Charlie Brown Christmas is considered a Christmas classic, and it is aired countless times every year, reminding previous generations of the true meaning of Christmas and pointing emerging generations to the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
What I love most about the story, though, is what happens in the closing moments. Linus, once again, comes through with the truth of Christmas. As they stand around the pathetic Christmas tree, the source of Charlie Brown’s shame and the physical evidence of his failure at life, Linus makes a profound statement. He says, “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all really. Maybe, it just needs a little love.” His words of kindness and compassion inspire the rest of the group to jump in and show the tree, and by extension, Charlie Brown, a little love. The tree is instantly transformed into a full-bodied, well-decorated tree. Charlie exits the house to see what’s going on. The group, in unison and with conviction, wishes Charlie Brown Merry Christmas, and they all sing “Hark the Herald” together. And together, they worship the new born King, the reason for the season.
God loves you! Faults, failures, and all, HE LOVES YOU!
Perhaps you feel a bit like Charlie Brown this Christmas. We all fail again and again. We all experience the shame and isolation that comes from our failure. We all have our Charlie Brown moments that cause us to doubt our worth and lovability. Allow me to share an encouraging truth with you; God loves you! Faults, failures, and all, HE LOVES YOU! He loves you so much that He came to earth as a baby, lived a perfect life, and died an unwarranted death to make a way for you and me to experience the fullness of His love. John 3:16 is more than a tagline for sporting events. It is the truth of Christmas and the good news of the gospel. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus truly does love you. And He proved it by living and dying for you. He is the gift that gives meaning to Christmas.
What the world needs, more than anything, is a little love and a whole lot of Jesus.
As we come to the end of this Christmas season, may we learn the lesson found in this children’s movie. What the world needs, more than anything, is a little love and a whole lot of Jesus. Interestingly enough, the one inspires the other, and vice versa. It is only when we have experienced the grace and love of Jesus that we are able to see past the faults and failures of the people of the world to the person that God loves so much that He came into the world and gave His life to save them. As John wrote, “If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” The world needs to see and experience the love of Christ. You and I, as Jesus’ representatives, have the privilege of being a means of grace through which God’s love is shared. Let’s make the most of the opportunity, not just at Christmas, but the whole year long.