Summary: #4 in a series: A look at some of the better known characters of the Christmas Story, learning from their experiences as God’s In-Breaking Kingdom brought the incarnation of Jesus Christ to planet earth and into their personal lives.
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It’s Christmas Eve! Christmas 2006
Do you have your Christmas shopping done yet?
If you’re a guy…you might be saying…Hey…I still have 24 hours. That’s plenty of time to go to the mall, bag up the stuff I need, and be back home in 30 minutes.
Actually with on-line shopping, I got my shopping done in record time this year. Sandy said that takes all the fun out of it…but not for me.
Fun? Fighting big crowds. Driving in mall parking lots with all the idiots. Trying to find your car? Etc etc
Christmas can be a real pressure cooker for some people. Can’t it?
Lots of family coming in. (My mother in law is here today so I have to be on my best behavior)
Lots of shopping & doing & extra stuff going on.
BUSY. BUSY. BUSY.!
TURN IN PEW BIBLE: LUKE 2
A few years back, I did a Christmas sermon series on FINDING GOD in all of my favorite Christmas movies.
It’s a Wonderful Life.
The Grinch that Stole Christmas
The Santa Clause.
One of my favorite moments of Christmas TV specials is from the original Charlie Brown Christmas.
You remember the story. Charlie Brown is suffering from depression & hopelessness as he has been assigned the job of directing the Christmas Play. After hours of trying to get the kid’s attention and not doing too well with it. Like herding cats. Then he goes out and brings in this poor little scraggly Christmas Tree and everybody is laughing & ridiculing him for his efforts to do Christmas. In total desperation, Charlie Brown yells out...
“Doesn’t anybody know what Christmas is all about?”
“Does ANYBODY know what Christmas is all about?”
I love it. Charles Schultz back in 1964 decides to display his strong Christian faith in his CBS-TV special. When TV was already starting to move away from talking about Jesus at Christmas…
Old Linus with his security blanket steps forward bravely and says…SURE CHARLIE BROWN. I know what Christmas is all about…
He steps onto the stage, the spotlight goes on, it gets real quiet, and Linus recites the following…
LUKE 2: 8
Lk 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
Lk 2:9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Lk 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Lk 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Lk 2:12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Lk 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
Lk 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
The spot light goes off. There is a moment of dramatic silence. And in a soft but convincing voice, Linus simply says to the depressed & hapless Charlie Brown…
“That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. That’s what Christmas is all about.”
Over the last few months, we’ve been talking to you about the in-breaking of God’s Kingdom.
Heaven breaking in on planet earth.
Light breaking in on darkness.
Hope breaking in on hopelessness.
Love breaking in on hatred.
Life breaking in on death.
There’s so many of us in this room today, who are just like Charlie Brown.
We’re good people. We’re Christians.
We’re not bad guys. But we’re tired, worn-out, lonely and wondering…
The weight of the world, our problems weigh heavy on us.
Christmas may have nearly worn you out.
The weight of balancing your budget when you don’t have $$ to do Christmas.
Maybe your kids are a mess.
Maybe your marriage is a mess.
Maybe 2006 was a financial disaster.
Maybe your job is kinda like Charlie Brown’s life.
Trying to herd cats.
You feel like you need a trip to Lucy’s psychiatric booth.
But you don’t have the nickel and even if you did Lucy won’t have the answer to your questions anyway.
Maybe you’re like Charlie Brown today.
Maybe not yelling it out like him…but maybe in what they call a silent scream…
DOESN’T ANYBODY KNOW WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT?
DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT?
DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT?
Linus had the right answer back in 1964.
That answer still remains today.
Jesus has come. The Kingdom of God is here.