“For Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy.”
We come into this life, all of us, exploring the big questions of life. The Mystery. The greatest Mystery. Why are we here? Who are we? What are we meant to do? What happens afterwards? It’s this Mystery that brings us together as human beings. It’s these questions that bring us together here. The Mystery.
Charlie Brown is a great questioner. “Isn’t there anybody who knows what Christmas is about?” He cries out. Why are we here? What is the point? He knows in his heart what’s not real, but he’s not sure how to deal with it or what is real. He’s overwhelmed by the noise and the commercialism. He feels lonely and unloved in a season of joy and giving. It makes him sad and confused to watch his friends getting mired in the superficial. He’s depressed.
But he seeks help and he has friends. Lucy suggests that he “get involved”.
But it’s Linus, our philosopher, who can answer when Charlie cry of frustration. Linus embodies True Faith. There’s no question for him. It’s in his heart, clear as can be. “Sure. I can tell you what Christmas is about.” He doesn’t need any notes or the Bible. He speaks what’s in his heart. “That is what Christmas is about.”
Charlie Brown will probably question his whole life, every year he will need to dig and seek to come back to the true meaning of Christmas. As he changes and grows and evolves and the people around him grow and things change, he will question and become uncertain. Like many of us. He may continue to fall into bouts of depression and sadness.
He will need his friends to remind him to connect and to remind him of what Christmas is about. As do many of us. It’s easy to get caught up in the current of doing and forget to just be. To forget what’s important to us.
Linus, on the other hand, will hold the truth in his heart. It will always be there for him. He will easily connect to the hope and love. The Great Joy. He probably won’t question the truth. For him, it is.
He holds it in his heart. I sometimes think that an adult Linus may never send a card or a Christmas gift, but people will congregate around him because he will embody for everyone a the true meaning of Christmas. It won’t matter that he doesn’t do what he’s “supposed to do”, because he lives it in his heart. I think Linus embodies the part in us that is not too busy to be there for anyone who struggles. Like he is for his friend Charlie.
I think that Charlie Brown will struggle, and continue to explore. He might get mired in the “what am I supposed to do”. I think he’s like that part within us that gets overwhelmed in giving cards and gifts, and decorating, and baking cookies, and doing all the things that need to be done. The part that will forget and let the season will become a never-ending to-do list. He’s the part of us that might get down in counting cards and gifts and begin to feel lonely and unloved. I also believe that each year, he will come to remember to give his cards, to send out his gifts, to direct his plays, and to decorate his little tree from a place of mindfulness, rooted in the meaning of the holiday. He will give with love and hope and faith.
Sometimes, he’ll need help from his friend to remember, but he’ll decorate a little tree each year that needs him, with Joy.
And the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you great tidings of great joy which will 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, goodwill toward men.”
Remember the great joy. Spread Great Joy and…Merry Christmas.