Yesterday was a great day of celebration and sharing together. My prayer is that the Christmas season is a time for celebration with friends and family. Remember that we are people who are promoting God’s kingdom right around us in the relationships closest to us.
Before Josanne and I head off to be with family let me leave you with a brief thought which I almost closed the sermon with yesterday. I decided against it because I was trying to not be too long. I read an article (which you can find here) this Christmas season that pointed out something from a Christmas classic that I have never noticed. A Charlie Brown Christmas has been a yearly staple for our family since I was a child. Of course the ultimate scene is where Charlie Brown complains to his friend Linus that he really doesn’t know what Christmas is all about. Then Linus takes center stage to recite the Christmas story from Luke 2. What Jason Soroski pointed out in his article that I had never noticed is that at a particular point while Linus is quoting Luke 2 he does something that is quite out of character.
One of the central characteristics of Linus in the comic strips and in the animated shows is that he always has his security blanket with him. He never lets go of it! In fact, it’s a running gag if that he is ever separated from his blanket even for only a moment, Linus falls to pieces. But there it is. Right in the middle of this reciting this famous Biblical passage about Jesus’ birth, Linus intentionally lets go himself. If you want to watch it for yourself, you can see it here. Where does Linus drop his blanket? When he gets to the message of the angels to the shepherds: “Fear not! For behold I bring you tidings of great joy!” What are we hanging on to fiercely for our own security? What’s our security blanket without which we completely fall apart? The good news of Christmas is that Christ has come so that we no longer need to be afraid. Let’s drop our “security blankets” this Christmas and hold on tightly to the Christ!
I really enjoyed the service yesterday. Thanks to all who helped make it great! Thanks to Betty Zook for her leadership and the choir for the hard work they did on the cantata yesterday. I thought the words went along beautifully with the message from Isaiah 9 that Christ has come to rule.
Finally, Josanne and I have been discussing how blessed we are to be a part of the NDMC community this Christmas. It’s a really neat feeling for us as we grow in our relationship with all of you. Thank you for the cards, gifts, and encouraging words that you have shared with us. It means so much. We’ll miss you all next week, but we are SO looking forward to the next year together. We believe that God will do some amazing things in our congregation and through us in ministry to others if we continue to look for his guidance and direction.
God bless you all this Christmas,