There has always been something about Charlie Brown from the Peanuts comic strip that each of us can connect with. He opens his mailbox and it is always empty. He never can kick that football. He never could find the courage to talk to the little red-headed girl.
Poor, Charlie Brown.
And poor us. We all have days when no matter what we try to do, it never quite comes out right. But there are a few things we can learn from Charlie Brown. Even though that mailbox was empty, he keeps looking. Even though he never kicks that football, he keeps trying. And even though he never could find the courage to talk to the little red-headed girl, he keeps planning to.
In 1965 A Charlie Brown Christmas aired for the first time on CBS. It has sense become a Christmas classic. In it Charlie Brown searches for the meaning of Christmas. What he sees around him does not feel like Christmas to him. “Does anybody know the meaning of Christmas?!?” he inquires.
The answer is you do, Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown is sent to choose the Christmas tree for the nativity play. The lot is filled with beautiful, sparkling, artificial trees. He chooses the only “real” tree in the lot, that happens to be the wimpiest, littlest, tree.
There is nothing artificial about Christmas or the meaning of Christmas. Charlie Brown’s decision to choose the tiniest and the weakest of the trees symbolizes how Christ chose each of us, the tiniest and the weakest.
So this Christmas season, go and love as Charlie Brown loved, never giving up and loving on the tiniest and the weakest. Go and love as Jesus has loves you.
*This first appeared as a From the Deacon column at Peakland United Methodist.
Brock Weigel is a student at Randolph-Macon College. There he is a Bailey Scholar, discerning a call to ordained ministry.
Read Matthew 1:18-25
Things I Would Like for Christmas:
- A New Bike
- Video Games
- Comic Books
It would feel almost too cliche to say “Jesus is the best gift ever received on Christmas.” However, the statement is true. Matthew 1:18-25 tells the story of how Joseph was convinced that he was to raise the Son of God. He literally received THE Christmas present, right into his arms.
As a drummer, I often feel like I need certain things to be happy. I think I need new sticks after I break my old ones; new heads when they become dented; and a sound system to hear a guitarist over all my noise. When Christmas comes around, I selfishly hope to receive such things, as though I earned them for surviving until December yet again. I even convince myself that these things are necessary in order for me to praise the Lord by playing at Church.
As great as it feels on the occasions that I do get new drumsticks, one Christmas I received a gift that truly surprised me. I was given an entire, brand new drum set. A complete overhaul! I hadn’t asked for a drum set. I had asked for sticks or other equipment. My parents knew me well enough that they were able to buy me something they knew I would really enjoy, without me having to ask.
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” -Matthew 7:11
I did not include that verse to say that my parents are anything less than incredible. Matthew 7 contrasts the earthly gifts that we as Creation give to each other against the heavenly gifts our Father bestows upon us. My parents were able to give me a drum set. My God was able to give me loving parents. How much greater then was God’s gift?
I have a laundry list of things I desire, and I have needs to fulfill, such as eating. But we know that “man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (from Matthew 4:4) What we truly need always comes from our thirst for God. Having created us, he already knows what we like and require, even before we ourselves do so. Though I have a list of things I would be happy to receive for Christmas, God knows even better.