You may remember the classic animated program A Charlie Brown Christmas.
It was a production that nearly didn't make it on the air. Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip featuring Charlie Brown, insisted on including a scriptural reading of the Christmas story. It was to be spoken by the Peanuts character, Linus, in response to Charlie Brown's mournful question, "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?"
At the time, the executives in charge of the network programming were concerned about reading something that would be viewed as religious. They believed it would be dangerous to start talking about spiritual stuff on a cartoon show.
But Schulz responded by asking, "If we don't, who will?"
It was ultimately decided that the reading would take place and the special was the second-most-watched program of the week.
At the end of the show, Linus recites these words from Luke 2:8-14:
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 good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, 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."
This Christmas season, we are reminded that we not only celebrate the birth of the teacher, Jesus the Christ. We honor that Christ spirit within each and every person - the highest potential in all of us.
As Linus said, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
Have a Merry Christmas,