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Summary: BIG IDEA: Charles Shultz shared the message of Christmas through Linus to Charlie Brown. The many Charlie Browns of the world need to hear from the Linuses of CHRIST. Linus as he carries that blue blanket, that 'COMFORTER'.CHRISTIANS must share Christ now

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2015.12.24.CHRISTMAS EVE SERMON

William Akehurst, HSWC

Luke 2:8-14

MESSAGE: “It’s not just another Charlie Brown Christmas”

Christmas TV shows. Miracle on ____ street. It’s a _____ Life. What do these have to do with Christ?

How many have seen the Charlie Brown Christmas Special?

Charles Shultz used the platform of his comic strip to share the meaning of Christmas.

In the beginning of the story, everyone is all about decorating and shopping and gifts. Sally, CB’s sister is talking about all the gifts she wants, and if people can’t get those, just give her money.

Charlie Brown’s classical response. “Good Grief”

He goes on showing his disgust of the commercialization of the holiday and becomes depressed. Nothing ever goes right for CB.

When Lucy asks him to direct the Christmas Play, he accepts and has new purpose.

He gives everyone their part and heads off to buy the proverbial Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

When he returns, everyone is disappointed in his selection.

Illus: Our double trunk/leader Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

This year we bought a 10’ Christmas tree. Our ceilings are 8 foot, so with the stand and star on top, we cut it to 6’. The double crown was tied together with a cinch strap and when it was placed in the stand, we have a real Charlie Brown Christmas tree on our hands.

As is typical with CB, everything seems to fall apart and he becomes even more depressed.

In one version, Sally is the angel and her big line is "HARK", yet in stage fright, she exclaims "Hockey Stick".

When CB realizes his failure, he exasperates and asks the question.

“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

Linus with his blanket answers, “Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.”

He then reads from Luke 2:8-14 and ends with, "that’s the meaning of Christmas Charlie Brown."

Charlie Brown ponders the meaning of Christmas, and the whole gang comes together as one in support of each other and of Charlie Brown.

A change comes over the characters of the set after the message of Christ is heard. The whole atmosphere changes.

That’s what Christmas is all about. It’s bringing Christ into our lives, its introducing HIM to others. And HE changes us, and the atmosphere around us.

Saving Statistics:

China: 30,000 people accept, receive and come to Christ each week

Africa: 20,000 people every week

South America: 10,000 people a week

In America, the good ‘ol USA, 60 churches close their doors every week.

Something is wrong in America. People everywhere in the USA are losing sight of Christ.

In Kentucky, the Charlie Brown Christmas Special is played to the schools. This year there was a gap. They cut out the announcement of CHRIST! Reading only vs 8-9 and cutting the rest to hear.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:

Then they cut to Linus’ line “And that’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”

That’s NOT what Christmas is all about.

WE are talking about GOD WITH US.

JESUS, the CHRIST, the REDEEMER and SAVIOUR of our souls, has come here to rescue us.

Christmas is the celebration of a living person. You don’t celebrate the birthday of a dead person.

Jesus Christ is alive. The wise men brought gifts worthy of the KING of KINGS.

Gold: Royalty, Kingship

Frankincense: Communication with the Holy of Holies.

Myrrh: Death spices

Foreshadowing:

Cradle Wrapped in swaddling clothes. Alive, Immanuel, GOD WITH US come to rescue us. JESUS, GOD SAVES here in the manger, the feeding trough, this bread of life.

Tomb wrapped in cloth. Dead to this world, but alive for everlasting. Those cloths wrapped neatly beside the death bed, JESUS rising and walking out that door and leaving it wide open for all to follow HIM.

Joseph, whose profession as a carpenter, probably taught JESUS the skills of the trade.

Jesus working with wood, going to the old wooden cross, working with the CROSS for YOU AND ME. Giving HIS life, for ours.

The Tomb, Empty, HE is alive.

Celebrating a living Savior, JESUS CHRIST THE LORD.

BIG IDEA: Charles Shultz shared the message of Christmas through Linus to Charlie Brown. The many Charlie Browns of the world need to hear from the Linuses of CHRIST. Something hit me about Linus as he carries that blue blanket, that 'COMFORTER'. We, who have the Holy Spirit, must share the True Message and Meaning of Christmas this year.

As we look forward to HIS coming again, we marvel that HE came for EVERYONE WORLD WIDE who would receive HIM.

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