Linus, from The Charlie Brown Christmas Special
Christmas Wars aside, a grand puzzlement of the past fifty years is that Linus's recitation of Luke 2:8-14 from "The Charlie Brown Christmas Special" is still broadcast during prime time several times during the season.
I don't know what version Charles Schultz used, but here it is in the ESV:
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and 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 among those with whom he is pleased!”
Linus's delivery comes after a little, gentle lecture he gives Charlie Brown about the meaning of Christmas, which is a model itself in biblical admonishment, exhortation and encouragement.
Watch an excerpt of the show which includes this exchange, and in particular, see if you note a change in the props around the 3:00 mark.
Did you see it? Jason Soroski's 12/14/15 article about the dropping of the blanket went viral this Christmas, and I have to admit, I never picked up on it myself in previous viewings.
"Charlie Brown is best known for his uniquely striped shirt, and Linus is most associated with his ever-present security blanket. Throughout the story of Peanuts, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally and others all work to no avail to separate Linus from his blanket. And even though his security blanket remains a major source of ridicule for the otherwise mature and thoughtful Linus, he simply refuses to give it up.
Until this moment. When he simply drops it.
In that climactic scene when Linus shares 'what Christmas is all about,' he drops his security blanket, and I am now convinced that this is intentional. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words, 'fear not'."
Soroski believes Schultz planned every part of that scene and meant the message of Christ overcoming fear:
"The birth of Jesus separates us from our fears.
The birth of Jesus frees us from the habits we are unable (or unwilling) to break ourselves.
The birth of Jesus allows us to simply drop the false security we have been grasping so tightly, and learn to trust and cling to Him instead."
"Fear not," the angels say to the shepherds, as they did to Mary and Joseph and Zachariah, when each were visited by an angel. But is that message truly for every one without condition? Watch the Linus clip again, and you'll see that the end of verse 14 is missing: "... On earth peace among those with whom he is pleased." What does this mean? Are there those among whom there will be no peace, and how does the qualification of "being pleasing to God" manifest itself? Lots to consider, and we'll talk more about fears, pleasing God, and being a recipient of peace tomorrow.
From Thanks2Giving '17
Return to Thinking again
December 1: Being a Pilgrim for Christmas
December 2: Craving Christmas, Desiring Christ
December 3: Strangers on Christmas Day
December 4: Hail Redemption's Happy Dawn!
December 5: Eureka!
December 6: O Henry, the Magi, and the Gift
December 7: Christmas Impersonators
December 8: This Year's Best Christmas Ad?
December 9: Why So Much Joy?
December 10: Where is the Method in the Madness?
December 11: Waiting for Redemption
December 12: Winter for a Reason
December 13: A Special Little Christmas
December 14: Mary and Holy Merriment
December 15: The Christmas Eve Truce
December 16: His Name Shall Be Jesus
December 17: C.B. and the Meaning of Christmas
December 18: Peace, Not Peace
December 19: Moonless Darkness Stands Between
December 20: He Makes Room for Us
December 21: Speaking of Glory . . .
December 22: A Christmas Carol That's Not About Christmas
December 23: Lessons Learned from Lean Christmases
December 24: All My Heart This Night Rejoices
December 25: The Neverending Gift Exchange
A Concluding Note: Do Not Open Until Christmas 2016
Laura Miller, home for the holidays