ODJ: a bigger story

December 25, 2015 

READ: Luke 2:8-14 

I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people (v.10).

It’s a little cartoon with a simple plot. The Christmas pageant is approaching, and the boy-director can’t do anything right. Now, 50 years later, A Charlie Brown Christmas still draws excellent ratings in parts of the world. Why?

The genius of the story is that it doesn’t get in the way of the Big Story. As Charlie Brown makes an increasingly bigger mess of things, one of his “friends” declares, “You’re hopeless, Charlie Brown. Completely hopeless.” Humiliated and exasperated, Charlie Brown shouts to the ceiling, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

It’s then that Linus answers, “Sure, Charlie Brown. I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” Clutching his blanket and sucking his thumb, Linus ambles to center stage. Politely requesting the spotlight, he launches into a soliloquy for the ages—the Christmas story from Luke 2. His recitation complete, he shuffles off the stage and simply says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

Christopher Shea, the actor who voiced Linus’ unforgettable role when he was just 7 years old, died in 2010 at age 52. But he knew where the power of that Christmas special came from. “It’s the words,” said Shea. “As I got older, I understood the words more, and I understood the power of what was going on.”

One day our lines will be complete. We’ll walk offstage and into eternity. If we understand who it’s all about, we can exit in satisfaction and fulfillment, fully confident of meeting the One behind the words—He who came to rescue His creation. “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:11).

Jesus is what Christmas is all about.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day-plan: 1 John 1:1-10

Read Philippians 2:5-11 to see the bigger story of what it meant for Jesus to rescue us. 
How are you trying to leave your mark on the world? In what areas are you glorifying yourself? In what ways are you living to advance God’s story?