I Googled the question, “What is the real meaning of Christmas?” and promptly saw a caption under my query that said, “About 85,300,000 results.” Wow! Isn’t technology something?
I didn’t read them all, but I perused a few. Some were pretty good and some were, as they say, “out to lunch.” There seemed to be a general consensus that Christmas has something to do with giving.
Well, even the nefarious Grinch, perennial opponent of the yuletide season, figured that out. He “… thought of something he hadn’t before — maybe Christmas he thought doesn’t come from a store … maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more.”
Helen Keller said, “The only real blind person at Christmastime is he who does not have Christmas in his heart.” That sounds good and I can’t disagree with what she said, but it seems a bit vague and undefined.
I didn’t find this one in my Google query, but probably the best answer is found in Charles Shultz’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” An exasperated Charlie Brown cries out, “Isn’t there anyone out there who knows what Christmas is all about?”
Shultz (1922-2000) was a fairly complex fellow. He considered himself a secular humanist, but he was also a professing Christian. He said that Linus, in the “Peanuts” comic strip, represented his spiritual side.
And it’s blanket-toting Linus to the rescue. He takes centre stage, calls for the spotlight and begins speaking.
From memory and in the King James Version he recites, “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!” (Luke 2:8-14)
He quietly exits the stage and concludes with, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” Linus put Christ back in Christmas and that’s the real meaning of Christmas. It is Christ’s birthday … it is all about Him.
Celebrating Christmas without Christ is like celebrating someone’s birthday without having invited them to the party!
Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.