“A Charlie Brown Christmas”
This coming weekend New Durham Chapel will be putting on the play, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. This is actually the 50th anniversary year of this cartoon Christmas special. When the program was first broadcast on American television in 1965 some network executives wanted Charles Schulz to omit the Christmas story but Schulz insisted that is the heart of the message. In the play Charlie Brown is frustrated by all the commercialism that he sees as the focus of the Christmas season and is mystified as he seeks to find out what is the true meaning of Christmas. The play actually reminded me of a Christmas in my past when I was either 12 or 13 years old. That Christmas my parents weren’t getting along very well. They had decided not to do Christmas. So for my sister and I the only gift under the Christmas tree was a pair of ice skates for each of us. I remember this because it’s a very difficult thing when you have your friends come over and you’ve been over their house and seen all the gifts and presents they’ve received and then they ask you to see what you got for Christmas. When I showed them the ice skates the question always was raised, “what else did you get?” Both my sister and I struggled throughout the whole Christmas vacation that year. In fact I remember one night when she and I were alone we began having a discussion about the true meaning of Christmas. I believe at this point both Mary Anne and I had been confirmed in the Lutheran Church, so we had some idea that Christmas had something to do with the Bible. So we actually took the Bible off the shelf in the living room and began to look for the Christmas story. We started reading in the book of Genesis, which was no help at all. Then we figured out it must be in the New Testament. We knew enough of the Bible to know there was an Old and New Testament. Then we opened to Matthew chapter 1 and came face-to-face with the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. Our efforts were short-lived, but we actually had started to look in the right resource Book, we just didn’t know the proper place to seek instruction as to the true meaning of Christmas. This Christmas my sister, who eventually found the true meaning of Christmas in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, will be celebrating her third Christmas in heaven.
We will be sharing during the play what Christmas is really all about. Linus has a great line in the story when he shares with Charlie Brown the quote of the angel regarding the fact that God has sent His Son into the world to be our Savior. This is great reason for rejoicing and celebrating. We hope that you will come out and join us for this very special children’s presentation of, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. The first performance will be on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 and the second performance will be Sunday evening at 6:00. If you would like bring a can of food for our FISH food drive. We who are truly blessed need to be a blessing to others. I hope to see you at one of our two shows this weekend and if you have time I’d love to hear how you found the true meaning of Christmas!
Celebrating the Shalom of Christmas,
Pastor Rich Sivo