If we were having coffee on this fourth and final Sunday of Advent, in which we celebrate love, we would sip a hot beverage while our choir performs.
Traditionally the Advent candles are lit, one each Sunday, commemorating Hope, Peace, and Joy. Today the fourth candle, representing Love, is lit. In the middle of the candles is a fifth candle, called the Christ candle, which unites all the candles of Advent.
My friend Janet Sunderland, on her blog Community of the Incarnation, sums up the Advent season so eloquently:
“Merry Christmas. And may the light of the Christ, renewed again, shine from your life to offer the peace that passes all understanding.”
If we were having coffee, I would remind you that this year is the 50th anniversary of the beloved TV show, A Charlie Brown Christmas. I grew up watching this TV show and it is not Christmas for me if I miss this show. Thanks to DVDs and YouTube, I don’t.
Here is the heart of the story, and therefore, my message today.
Poor Charlie Brown suffers depression and the rest of the gang is caught up in the commercialism of the season. In 1965, they embraced fake trees, materialism and distractions from the true meaning of Christmas. Nothing much has changed in 50 years, hmm?
During their Christmas play practice, as Charlie Brown endures derisive laughter over his sad little tree, a frustrated Charlie asks, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus begins to take center stage… “sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about…”
“…And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: (Linus drops his security blanket on purpose);
for behold, I bring unto 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 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, good will toward men.'” (Luke 2:8-14 KJV)
Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
With renewed hope, Charlie picks up the tree and walks back to his house and attempts to place an ornament on the tree as he reflects on the scripture Linus recited. Sadly, the tree bends under the weight of the ball. Charlie dejectedly mopes away proclaiming “Everything I touch gets ruined!”
Linus and the gang follow him and see the poor tree. As Linus picks up the tree, wrapping his blanket around the base, he says, “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really…
Wait for it…
…Maybe it just needs a little love.”
Like we ALL do. Just a little love.
Regardless of your beliefs, in a world desperately needing love, ponder these thoughts this holiday season.
We all know the words to “Oh Holy Night.” This is the truth of the final verse: “Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His gospel is peace.”
This is my last Weekend Coffee Share post of the year until mid-January.
Please stop by Part-Time Monster’s blog and enjoy a hot beverage with us. You, too can be part of the gang!