Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

When they first saw the show, CBS executives were horrified at the idea of an animated Christmas special with such a blatant message. They also strongly objected to the fact that the show had no canned laughter.

Bill Melendez tried to talk Charles M. Schulz out of using Biblical references (especially Linus's speech) in this special. Schulz reportedly won him over by saying, "If we don't do it, who will?" As it turned out, Linus' recitation was hailed as one of the most powerful moments in the highly acclaimed special.

Charlie Brown: Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
[moves toward the center of the stage]
Linus Van Pelt: Lights, please.
[a spotlight shines on Linus]
Linus Van Pelt: "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 unto 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.'"
[Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown]

Linus Van Pelt: That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

During his famed speech, Linus, who is well known to be dependent on his security blanket, actually lets go of it when he recites these words: "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy," which is from Luke 2:10.

(all of the above is found in the Internet Movie Database)

Things that I need to let go of to fully embrace the message of Christmas this year:

-family's been around since Cain and Abel...we all have dysfunctional families.
-stress of making/buying gifts. I enjoy it, but allow it to stress me sometimes. I need to keep focused on WHY I'm making these gifts in the first place.
-the many, many things I cannot change in life at this moment: how far we live from family and friends, people who don't like me, how to pay for a vehicle...I could go on and on and on...(I'm sure you could too!)

I can't let fear or anxiety get in the way of celebrating the day that God sent His only son to the broken world, in a feed tray to a scared girl and boy who decided to be obedient even when it was hard and they didn't even fully understand. I thank my Father, that I can "Fear Not!" this Christmas and live out the "great joy" He has given me through His son, Jesus.

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