ON THE JOURNEY

MICHAEL DUVAL, LEAD PASTOR

How could I have missed it?  As many times as I’ve watched it, how could I have failed to realize its significance?  How could I have missed the ‘hidden message’?

 

Charlene M. Speer lets us in on the ‘secret’.

 

“In 1965, Charles Schulz, a devout Christian and creator of the Peanuts comic strip, was asked to create a Christmas special for CBS featuring the Peanuts characters.  He agreed with one requirement, that they allow him to include the story of the birth of Jesus.

 

Although the station’s executives were hesitant and tried to convince him otherwise, Schulz was insistent.  As a result, for the past 50 plus years, millions of people have watched A Charlie Brown Christmas and heard the story of Jesus and ‘what Christmas is all about.’

 

It wasn’t until a few years back that I realized a ‘hidden message’ in the film.  Linus, a child who seems to have insecurities carries a security blanket with him at all times.  In fact, Linus never drops his blanket, except once . . .

 

While sharing the message of ‘what Christmas is all about,’ Linus drops his blanket at the exact moment he says the words, ‘fear not!’

 

In this seemingly innocent moment, Linus delivers a powerful reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.  We are to ‘fear not’, for Jesus is born.  We needn’t rely on material things for security, we have God with us, ‘Emmanuel’, (Matthew 1:23) Jesus Christ—the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Awhile back, someone informed me, indignantly so, that Linus picks up his blanket at the end of the speech so my interpretation must be wrong.  Well, he was right, Linus does pick up his blanket at the end of his speech.  However, he ‘drops’ it again later . . .

 

Amid big, bright, colorful, shiny artificial trees, Charlie Brown chose the least of these, a little, wooden tree with just a few branches.  Shortly thereafter, Linus uses his blanket to wrap about the base of the tree and says, “Maybe it just needs a little love”.  In that moment, the tree ‘awakens’, stands tall and firm.  A reminder that no matter who we are, how many mistakes we’ve made, ‘a little love’ can make all the difference.

 

Let’s strive to ‘fear not’ (Luke 2:10) and ‘love one another’ (John 13:34), not just at Christmastime, but the whole year through.”


-Michael