“Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you the meaning of Christmas. Lights, please!” A friend of mine said that when a life falls apart Linus’ words are a message of hope. Charlie Brown had been seeking the true meaning of Christmas. He knew that he didn’t get it. He knew that he was missing something. Why else should he be feeling so disappointed and depressed? He seeks help from Lucy. We learn that, for her, only real estate translates into happiness. Likewise, his sister thinks that satisfaction comes from 10’s and 20’s. Charlie Brown himself seeks fulfillment in being the director of the Christmas play. This only ends in greater disappointment and depression. We all have a similar tendency to take Christ out of the manger and replace him with our frankincense, gold, and iPhone 4’s. All this sets the scene for Linus’ famous monologue. Linus the Wise understands the meaning of Christmas. He knows that the only way to satiate the pining of the human heart is to put Christ in the manger. It is only after Linus reorients Brown’s values system that the story is resolved. Charlie Brown smiles. He finally gets it.
It is our prayer that we all put Christ in the manger this holiday season. Merry Christmas.