AND THE ANGEL SAID TO THEM, “BE NOT AFRAID; FOR BEHOLD, I BRING YOU GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY WHICH WILL COME TO ALL THE PEOPLE; FOR TO YOU IS BORN THIS DAY IN THE CITY OF DAVID A SAVIOR, WHO IS CHRIST THE LORD.” -LK. 2:10-11
There’s a great conversation in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” between Charlie Brown and Linus as they’re walking to the skating pond. It goes like this:
Charlie Brown says:
I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is
coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.
I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents
and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but
I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.
And then Linus responds:
Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a
wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.
Maybe Lucy’s right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re
the Charlie Browniest.
What about you? Are you feeling the way you’re supposed to feel at Christmas? Are you a Charlie Brown? It can be hard this Christmas. There is still a pandemic and flu and RSV and whatever else floating in the air. There are so many people who are grieving this year. You may feel overwhelmed and exhausted. You may like Christmas, but not all the extra work and preparations that go into it. You might be feeling depressed. Our country is still divided. A recent election proves this. And materialism seems to be yet the calling card of another Christmas. It may feel like singing “Joy to the World” is just another burden.
But I know and you know, too, that the message of Christmas is “good news of great joy.” Christ the Savior is born! God comes to us while we are in darkness. God comes while the world is in utter darkness. Let’s face it, Mary and Joseph didn’t exactly have it easy– riding on a donkey or walking all the way to Nazareth while about to give birth, finding no room to rest, and then giving birth in a manger filled with hay in the dark of night. How depressing must that have been?
And yet the night sky was filled with stars. Angels sang God’s glory. Shepherds came from the fields to visit this little baby. And somehow Mary and Joseph knew in their hearts that this was “good news of great joy.” Christ the Savior was born!
Even in the darkness, somehow we know the joy that Christ is born. In the depression, somehow we know the hope that Christ is born. In the turmoil, we know the peace that Christ is born. In the midst violence and pain, we know the love that Christ is born.
So search deep this Christmas. Look deep inside. For in your hearts, Christ is born. It is “good news of great joy.”
Third Sunday of Advent
November 13, 2022