A Charlie Brown Christmas came to mind last night as I read a friend’s post.
In A Charlie Brown Christmas, everyone who’s ever seen the little 30 minute kid’s movie knows that Charlie Brown’s tree was absolutely pitiful! It was almost completely bare of needles and the top looked broken and bent. Now this tree was once a much better specimen. It started out like most trees. Growing in a tree farm, it was cared for lovingly. Fertilizer in the spring so the needs would be deep green and the limbs remain healthy. Mowing underneath all year long so that weeds and vines wouldn’t encroach. Trimming ever so carefully by the skillful hands of the tree farmer, just so. Not too much removed, but just enough to make the little tree and all the other trees in the farm stand perfectly and become full and robust.
Once the tree was cut and removed from the farm it was destined for someone’s home. But there are many variables in the life of a Christmas tree – from the farm to the store to the home. The little tree of Charlie Brown’s evidently had it pretty rough. First, with lack of natural water the needles got dry and ginger. The liveliness of the tree began to wane. Then the winds came and the trunk became bent underneath the trauma. Finally, after being thrown from truck to yard it had all the effects of mistreatment. After all, once at the store, trees are just mean to be a cash crop. No real care given to any of them.
Charlie Brown’s tree was not met with enthusiasm. In fact it was a cause for derision and great laughter. But somehow Charlie Brown saw something important in that little wisp of a tree. And, when he got at his lowest point, his friend Linus came to his rescue. Linus did not offer him more money to get a better tree. He didn’t offer to discard the tree for him. He didn’t try to make the tree better by adding to it. He didn’t even try to convince Charlie Brown that he was okay, did the right thing or any such advice or help.
Instead, Linus did the only thing that would truly help. The only thing that a true friend could do. He pointed Charlie Brown to the real meaning of Christmas.
Linus states he can tell him, and recites the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verses 8 through 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.'" Linus finished by saying, "...And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
Which takes me back to my friend’s post, reminding me that when we point one another to the real meaning of not only Christmas, but life itself, we have done well. When we share the TRUTH about God and His wonderful, magnificent, astounding, unending, eternal, everlasting, perfect love for each and every one of us, we have done our part to take that friend out of the elements of life and into the warmth and caring of Almighty God. As we give out the living water and they take it in, things change. Attitudes change. Hearts change. Lives change.
Oh beloved, are you absolutely sure that you understand that God loves you? That you are truly indeed His beloved? And, because you are His beloved, you can look past the forlorn elements of your life to the Living Gospel and see! Rest beneath the promises of God! Rest under the shade of the Mighty Living Lord! Hear Him calling you? Yes, you. He always says Beloved, and if you ever hear words that don’t speak love and tenderness, you are not hearing from the Lord!
Run to His Word this morning and ask Him to make it real to you. The enemy of your soul wants you to believe his lies and he has been formulating them for a very long time. However, the Savior and Lover of your soul formulated His love songs to you before the foundation of the World! He is Loyal, Faithful and True! And His love was created just for you! Let His living water revive you. Let His constant care and tender pruning make you what you could never hope to be on your own. Rejoice as He speaks His love song into your heart singing “I love you, I’m for you, I will deliver you and heal you and keep you forever with me!” What wondrous love is this, oh my soul, oh my soul!
Psalm 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in Your unfailing love, for You have seen my troubles, and You care about the anguish of my soul.
Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil—for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep. (AMP)
John 15:9 I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
John 8:44 b …(satan) was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Romans 8:37-38 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.