Lk.2:8,9 – In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
What is the real meaning of Christmas? I mean really, everyone knows its not the parties and the egg nog or the shopping and the presents. Maybe you think its the “I’ll be home for Christmas” syndrome. No. That’s not it either. With all the days off, the shopping, and even doing good deeds for the needy alone can never capture what Christmas is all about. This is the question of the ages and even was the theme of the classic Holiday special “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Charlie Brown was struggling, frustrated about Christmas until his friend Linus gave him the answer. Here is a portion of an article from the Gazette talking about Charlie Brown’s Christmas special.
“During the making of the animated Christmas classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz had a meeting with Lee Mendelson, the show’s producer, and Bill Melendez, its lead animator. The discussion concerned Schulz’s insistence about including a New Testament scripture reading of the Christmas story from the Bible. The scripture reading was to be spoken by Peanuts character Linus Van Pelt in response to Charlie Brown’s lament, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Mendelson and Melendez both voiced their concern about the reading, with Melendez telling Schulz, “It’s very dangerous for us to start talking about religion now.” Schulz answered him by saying, “Bill, if we don’t, who will?” In the end, the scripture reading was retained, and the CBS special was the second-most watched show of the week when it debuted on December 9, 1965.”
I think it is quite interesting to see the political pressure the television folks felt in 1965. There was that unseen elephant in the room, sponsors and money that seemed to be on the line if Charles Schulz brought Christ into the equation. Shultz insisted and the scripture quote became the classic scene in the television show. I watched the show when it first aired when I was thirteen years old as well as seeing it many times since. The amazing thing about the show and why it stands out above any other Peanuts scene in history is that quote of the birth of Christ from the gospel of Luke. Without the quote it would have been another forgotten, worthless Christmas special. So that brings us to us. Are we willing to stand like Charles Shultz and Linus did or will we be plowed over by our godless, secular world?