"I bring you tidings of great joy..." ... Luke 2:10
So this morning I watched my favorite Christmas show.
Was it Christmas in Connecticut? A Christmas Carol (one of a bazillion versions)? The Bishop's Wife? It's a Wonderful Life?
Nah, it was A Charlie Brown Christmas. In my opinion? That's the one that gets it most right. (Your opinion may vary. That's ok.)
At first, Charlie Brown goes around resenting
Christmas and complaining about his being neglected, how everybody, even his dog, has 'gone commercial' and how he just doesn't understand Christmas at all. Then Lucy pushes Charlie into involvement--get involved in the big Christmas play and you'll be happy, she intimates. Then when that fails, Charlie believes a Christmas tree will cure all his problems (new and old) so he and Linus go and buy a tree. But that only gets Charlie laughed at and more ridiculed than ever.
Finally his quest leads him to ask the right question, "Can anyone tell me what Christmas is all about?" and we all know the rest. Linus recites from Luke chapter 2 and for Charlie Brown, everything changes. Suddenly the complaints and hype and ridicule drop to his feet like scales and only one thing is left. Jesus.
He walks on, alone, filled with great peace and much hope that now, everything is going to be ok. Oh, he flounders a bit when he appears to kill his sweet little tree (don't we all flounder even after we've found Truth?), but his world rights itself again thanks to a little help from his friends. Joy returns and shows itself by spilling into the song, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
"Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy." For too many years I complained here in this blog about all things wrong with December, like who said "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas and complaints of other peoples' 'commercialism spirit,' the way they crowd the stores, ignoring their feverish, screaming children while on their cell phones.
But never again. There are no tidings of great joy in that. No, that's called complaining and the Bible, frankly, tells us to knock that off. Instead, it tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, even if they don't do Christmas (or anything else) the way we believe they should. Love, you know, the greatest thing of all.
And even if this world has changed so much in our minds, veering infinitely far away from Capra's Wonderful Life, God is God and He is still good, especially when we fall hopelessly, helplessly in love with Him. For it's out of that love that we stop trying to be loved--and instead--we learn to receive it, a love that changes absolutely everything. Ourselves and way we look at Life and all people, for starters.
A love we're to spread and splash all around to a world ever searching for the Secret of Life. The secret we've been told, born anew into, the one we live daily, unless we, too, have forgotten, causing us to complain in a hopeless, bitter sort of way like everybody else.
A relationship with Jesus is the secret we're compelled to share year-around, but especially each December. With joy.
"And be ye thankful..."
Happy 50th birthday to my sister, Corrine. Oh my goodness--weren't we just, like, nine and six the other day?
Oh! Mammka became a follower of my blog this week so I zipped over to her blog and was purely delighted. If I'm understanding this all correctly, she is from Budapest and her blog is written in Hungarian. But! You can click on the "Translate" button and read what she's written in English. Yet there's more--she's a phenominal photographer--oh, many of you will adore her photos. Enjoy.