This year is the the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown” Christmas. After fifty years, it remains one of the most beloved and popular Christmas “specials”. I know I have seen it more times than I could possibly remember, chances are you have too.
A couple of weeks ago, I read an article that pointed out something I had never noticed before. In fact, I had to go back and watch it to make sure it was there! It is a small detail, but once I noticed it, I realized that it had a vital message. When Linus tells Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about by quoting Luke 2:8-14, he drops his blanket.
You may be thinking, “so what? Why is his dropping his blanket important?” We have to realize that some characters have traits that represent who they are. Charlie Brown always has the yellow shirt with the black zig-zag. Schroeder is almost always at the piano. Pig-Pen is always surrounded by a cloud of dirt. Linus has his blanket and is often seen sucking his thumb. It isn’t any blanket that he carries around, but a security blanket, a blanket that brings him comfort.
Linus isn’t just dropping his blanket as he tells the story of Christ’s birth. He is dropping his need for security and comfort from it because he finds comfort and security somewhere else! Instead of his blanket, his earthly possession, he finds security and comfort in the story of Christ’s birth.
Even more poignant is the point at which Linus drops his blanket. He drops it when the angel says “Fear not!” to the shepherds. “Fear not” is phrase found numerous times in the Bible and it is almost always said when God is about to be revealed. Linus has no need for comfort from earthly goods because God is about to be revealed?
Isn’t that what Christmas is all about, that in the birth of the Christ child, God’s very nature is revealed? In the birth of the Christ child, God’s grace is revealed. In the birth of the Christ child, God’s compassion is revealed. In the birth of the Christ child, God’s love is revealed. That is something that we can find comfort in, not just on Christmas, but everyday.