In Charles M. Schulz’s classic TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown set out to buy a Christmas tree. As the play’s director, Charlie was determined that his theatrical work would not reflect the commercialization of Christmas that he saw all around him.
Charlie Brown proudly returned with what he thought was a “real” Christmas tree—a small sapling. But it didn’t go over well. The cast members scoffed at the young tree, mocked him, and walked out of rehearsal. As Charlie pondered with his friend Linus (the only cast member who remained), about what had happened, he asked out loud, “Isn’t there anyone who really knows what Christmas is all about?”
Linus, who’d been practicing his lines, offered the real answer. He stepped to center stage and flawlessly recited the account out of Luke’s gospel of the angels appearing to surprised shepherds and announcing the birth of a Baby who would change the world (Luke 2:8-14).
As we look back across nearly 2,000 years, we may find ourselves pondering another question. How did a Baby—born in an obscure corner of the world, who never attended college, wrote a book, traveled the globe, or held public office—make such an immense impact on the world?
The testimony of the Scriptures and God’s people put it many ways, but it can be summed up with one word—love. For God so loved the world He made, especially the people He made to inhabit it, that He sent His Son Jesus Christ into it in order to redeem and restore it (John 3:16).
The little Baby whose birth we celebrate is the embodiment of God’s story of love—a story that brings peace and “joy to all people” (Luke 2:10).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 John 1:1-10
Read Simeon’s proclamation in Luke 2:29-32 and consider what Jesus brought to us and the entire world.
How can you provide a tangible expression of God’s love to someone in need today? What’s at the core of the joy Jesus brought to us?