Summary: This message looks at how various folks in the Christmas Story responded to what was happening.

Last week we celebrated Christmas with our children’s presentation, which I’m sure Marilyn and her crew would testify is kind of like herding cats. And that was part of the process that led Charlie Brown to ask in frustration, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

And that is the question that we’ve been attempting to answer this year, which bring us to week three of our Christmas Series: What Christmas is all about.

This is the fiftieth anniversary of this iconic Christmas special, and for a Television special that was supposed to have a very short shelf life. . . one year it has had an incredible staying power. Even if you have never seen the original show you know what is meant by “a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.”

And so in week one we looked at how the various characters in A Charlie Brown Christmas responded to Christmas. You’ll remember that we discovered how for Snoopy Christmas was all about the season of Christmas, the lights the food, all the glamour and glitz that surrounds Christmas. For Lucy Christmas was all about what had to be done, all about the effort. From organizing the Christmas Play, to making sure they had the perfect tree to counselling Charlie Brown on how to achieve Christmas bliss, her solution. Get involved. For Sally, Charlie Brown’s little sister Christmas was all about Sally, what she wanted and expected Santa to bring her on the big day. And for Charlie Brown himself Christmas was about despair he was down and depressed and the holiday did nothing to improve his mood.

And then there was Linus, two weeks ago I mentioned that for Linus Christmas was all about the Christmas story. But I wondered if that was as far as it went with Linus. While Snoopy was quite happy for Christmas to be nothing more than a holiday it seemed that for Linus it was nothing more that then that fragment of the Christmas story.

Two weeks ago we went a little deeper and dug into the scripture that Linus has been reading for us and we discovered that for Linus Christmas was all About the Shepherds, the Angels and the Baby. But even that doesn’t tell us all of the story. Because none of those things in themselves truly explain Christmas. Not even the baby in the manger.

This morning we are going to dig a little deeper into what Christmas is all about and we’ll start with Mary’s story.

Luke 1:30, 35, 37 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son.” . . . "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” . . . For nothing is impossible with God."

The first thing that The First Christmas was all about Faith The visit of the angel Gabriel was really where the entire story began; now you know the rest of the story, the Angel tells Mary that she is going to have a child who will be the son of God, Mary tells the angel that isn’t going to happen because she isn’t married and besides that she’s still a virgin, even then the two didn’t necessarily go hand in hand. And then the angel tells her, no problem, the father will be the Holy Spirit.

Now before we go on with the story I have a theory, which I’m sure you’re dying to hear.

This would probably be the time to insert my theory on the Angela Gabriel, do I hear groans? I think that we mispronounce the angel’s name. I don’t think it was Gabriel I think it was Gabrielle. Think about it if you were God and you were sending an angel to talk to a teenaged virgin about reproduction would you send a male angel or a female angel?

Now I know that you’re thinking, “That’s just dumb Denn, angels aren’t male or female they are asexual.” So, close your eyes and picture an angel. Now is your asexual angel a boy angel or a girl angel?” But my theory really isn’t all that important because we aren’t all that interested in Gabriel or Gabrielle this morning we are interested in Mary and her response to the angel. So the angel comes tell this young virgin that she’s going to have a child and the father’s going to be the Holy Spirit. Listen to Mary’s response: Luke 1:38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

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