In Charles Schulz’s Christmas classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown, fed up from the commercialism and materialism of the holiday in 1965, asks with some angst, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!” Forty-four years later, the question has just as much need for an answer as it did then. The truth is, the real meaning of Friday’s holiday gets a bit convoluted in the midst of getting presents for this relative or that friend, ensuring the Christmas cards get out on time, plus living life on top of that.
Over the weekend, I went with Jennifer and some friends to look at a neighborhood that had really done a great job decorating with Christmas lights. Street after street, home after home were covered with lights, reindeer, grinches and crosses. That’s right, crosses. The Christians in this neighborhood put up not only nativity scenes but also crosses, linking this week’s wonderful holiday with April’s wonderful holiday of Easter, giving us an answer to Charlie Brown’s existential question. The incarnation of Jesus, which we celebrate this week in Christmas, is only great in that Jesus’ work on the cross allows the God-man to pay the price for our sins—salvation—and allows us to enter into a life worth living as we are sanctified—a life based on forgiveness, relationship, play, joy and meaning. Thanks be to God for His goodness and His plan in the midst of our living in a chaotic and busy world of reindeer, lights and grinches!
Merry Christmas to each one of you!