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Linus' Meaning

    When I was growing up, Christmas Eve belonged to the Sunday School.  We were given our parts after     Thanksgiving and had 4 weeks to memorize our little piece of the Christmas Story.  We practiced every Sunday in our classes, then on the Saturday morning before Christmas we met at church to rehearse so that everything went smoothly on Christmas Eve.   Even with all that rehearsal, things went wrong.  Throughout the years I memorized the entire Christmas story, including The Annunciation, Luke 2, and most of the major prophecies, so sometimes the parts ran together.  Once, when I was about six,  my class had the first portion of Luke 2,  When it was my turn I began to speak. Unfortunately I began the last year’s part from Isaiah 9 

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders

That was as far as I got before I stopped and said  “wait a minute…that’s the wrong one”  and I calmly went back and started the right passage.

            I can still recite most of the prophecies and the entire Nativity story from Luke, and end it with the visit of the Wise Men.  The memorization of the story took much time and effort.  As I grew up, I became more and more like the Peanuts kids.  So involved in the trapping of Christmas….the shopping and wrapping, the hours spent decorating the house and the Christmas tree, planning of the Christmas dinner…all things that tend to “get in the way” of celebrating the real meaning of Christmas.  There are times that we need a Linus to set us straight.  Charlie Brown becomes frustrated and screams….Doesn't anybody know the real meaning of Christmas?  Linus launches into a reading of the Luke account 

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring 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 Saviour, 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.”    “That’s the real meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown.” 

            As Christmas Day approaches, Let’s follow Linus’ example, and focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  Opportunities present themselves both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Before the gifts are opened, the carols played, and the conversation started, let’s give God thanks for the greatest gift of all….The gift of salvation through his son, Jesus Christ.  Whose birthday we celebrate on this Christmas Day.

 

Have a blessed Christmas

Deacon Rich