• Mount Tabor UMC

Devotional for November 30

“ A Charlie Brown Christmas”

On December 9, 1965 half of all American households tuned in to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas' '. It was the first animated cartoon of the characters of the Peanuts Comic Strip. Cartoonist Charles Schultz’s plan had been to do a show about the true meaning of Christmas. To do this, Schultz found it key to add scripture from the Bible. When questioned by his animator and director-producer if they should be doing that type of thing, Schultz's reply was that what would be the point to making the television special at all?

Charlie Brown's journey to understand the meaning of Christmas is as relevant today as back in 1965, In the show, the animated character Charlie Brown finds himself disillusioned with the commercialism of Christmas. Frustrated, he asks the following question. “Does Anyone Know What Christmas Is All About?”

Animated character Linus’s speech directly quotes from the King James Version of Luke 2:8-14 rings true then as it is today. It’s a message of hope.

Here these words from Luke 2 8-14.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks 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 you tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born in the city of David a savior which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; You 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, goodwill towards men.”

Charles Schultz felt so strongly about the good news of Jesus that he told his colleagues on the project that there would be no point to make a television show about Christmas without it. Ironically, Bill Mendelson, his director later called Linus reading from the book of Luke “the most magical two minutes in all of TV animation.” Despite reservations and its initial detractors, Charlie Brown Christmas is still watched by audiences answering the question of the meaning of Christmas.

Can you describe your core values and give testimony of the meaning of Christmas?

Is there anyone around me who is seeking hope and answers? Can you communicate that to them?

Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for the timeless message of the hope of Christmas. Help me hold steadfast to that message that not losing sight of it in these times that we currently live. Help me to be sensitive to, bear witness to and give testimony of “What Christmas is All About” during this Advent Season Help me be like Charlie Brown’s “Linus” and share the good news to a questioning world in these uncertain times in which we live. Amen.

Written by Tammy Pell