I'm man enough to admit that I still get a little choked up at the end of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." It's just as relevant today as it was 40 years ago.
Like many of us, Charlie Brown doesn't understand what Christmas is about, since he sees so much commercialism surround the holiday. He tries to get in the spirit by directed the annual Christmas play, but no one will listen. Then he decides what they need is a Christmas tree. Unfortunately the only real tree Charlie Brown and Linus can find at the lot is a pathetic little stick with a few pine needles on it. But that doesn't stop Charlie Brown, because he finally found something real. But then when he brings the little tree back to his friends, they all laugh at him. Once again Charlie Brown is confused about what Christmas is all about.
And then Linus speaks:
"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 what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
That's when everything changes.
Advent is a time to remember that Christmas didn't begin with a department store sale; it began with God coming down to earth as a baby, born in a stable, sleeping in a feeding trough. This year I hope to break from the consumerist holiday mindset, and really prepare my heart for the coming of Christ. And I hope you will join me.