Do you know that it’s been 47 years of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on TV?
Remember Linus? As Charlie Brown sinks into a state of despair trying to find the true meaning of Christmas, Linus quietly saves the day. He quietly walks to the center of the stage where the Peanuts characters have gathered and under a narrow spotlight, he begins to quote Luke 2. 8 – 14:
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 you 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 and goodwill towards men.
Once he is finished quoting the scripture, he turns to Charlie Brown and concludes, “. . . and that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
The scene lasted 51 seconds and despite the network’s deep concern that the audience would not want to sit through passages of the King James Bible in a Christmas special, the show was a critical and commercial hit. Charles Schulz (creator of the Peanuts comic strip) stuck to his guns, despite all the flack from the “TV big wigs” – he knew that the Luke reading by Linus was the heart and soul of the story.
It was the simple message of Christmas. The Christmas Story. Yet, politically current – obsessed people were concerned that the scriptures might offend someone.
It’s the same today. Perhaps there are different pressures and different kinds of people being offended but they’re still around. No more Christmas pageants at school, you can’t call it a Christmas tree and now, we celebrate the winter holidays. The point is this: no matter how many ways that this culture tries to remove Christ from Christmas, He still remains.
Some things never change. The Christmas message is clear – the Savior of the world is born.