“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46
“The peace of God is not the absence of fear. It, in fact, is His presence.” Timothy Keller
- Take 10 minutes and reflect on your favorite Christmas song. Take in the beauty of the words and music, and write the words in your journal. To fully appreciate and understand the song, research the history of the author.
- Open your Bible and read the following verses about the birth of Jesus:
– Matthew 1:18-23 – Matthew 2:1-12 – Luke 2:7 – Luke 2:11-14 – Revelation 12:1-5
What I learned from A Charlie Brown Christmas
When I was in elementary school, one of the events I looked forward to most during Christmas was watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on television. I would look it up in our TV Guide and mark it on the calendar. We often watched it at school too. To me, it just did not feel like Christmas until I saw Charlie Brown decorate his little tree and Linus tell the story of what Christmas is all about. I loved Snoopy, Woodstock, and all the cast of Charlie Brown. My favorite Christmas gift as a young child was a stuffed Woodstock. In fact, I can clearly see a Polaroid picture in my mind of my older brother and myself with my new toy that Christmas.
Linus is one of my favorite characters. I can really relate to him. He is uber responsible, fixes other people’s problems, and often assesses the situation before acting. He is known for carrying around a security blanket. I myself carry around a “security blanket” everywhere I go too: a book, my phone, and a notebook. This way, I don’t have to talk to people I don’t know, and I always have something to do in awkward situations. These items help alleviate my fears of the unknown. I do not like the unknown. I feel very uncomfortable and uneasy. I choose to avoid the unknown. Are you like Linus too?
A few years ago, I was watching A Charlie Brown Christmas with my two girls, and I noticed something amazing. Linus is sharing what Christmas is all about, and he is quoting Scripture. He is specifically quoting Luke 2:8-14 (ESV) which states:
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and 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 among those with whom he is pleased!”
Here is the amazing part: Linus drops the blanket right at the moment he states “Fear not.” He stands alone on stage without that blanket and finishes the verses. When he is done speaking, he calmly picks up his blanket. What I learned from this is that the birth of Jesus separates us from our fears. We can fully trust in Jesus Christ and lean into Him.
Here is a list of blanket truths that I learned from A Charlie Brown Christmas:
- The birth of Jesus brought Him close to us (Matthew 1:21).
- The birth of Jesus has removed the fear of the unknown (Philippians 4:6-7).
- The birth of Jesus frees us from the habits that we are unable to break ourselves (1 Corinthians 10:13).
- The birth of Jesus has removed the fear of being alone (John 3:16).
- The birth of Jesus simply lets us trust in Him instead of grasping false security (John 15:16).
- Jesus is accessible to all (Ephesians 2:18).
For many of us, the simplest truths of the Gospel bring the most encouragement. May you find peace and hope this Christmas in knowing your Savior loves you and is the source of all you need.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Do you live a life of fear? I hope not! It has been said that there are 365 “Fear Nots” in the Bible. One for every day of the year. Psalm 56:3-4 states “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”
- My charge to you is to trust God more this next year, set aside your fears, and live a life of joy. Journal about your top 5 fears and turn them over to God. Revisit this entry every three months to note your progress. Are you still fearful? Have you fully given that fear over to God? I hope so!
Watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with your family one night this week. Pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate, and snuggle on the couch. Pay special attention to Linus’s speech. After the movie, pull out your family Bible and read Luke 2:8-14 as a family. Answer any questions your children might have. Bonus tip: have your children act out the scene while you read the Bible.