Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’” (Luke 2:8-14 NIV)
I grew up watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the Peanuts classic written by famed cartoonist, Charles Schulz. Schulz was also a committed Christian who occasionally used his comic strip to reveal his religious beliefs. In his Christmas show, in the final minutes, Schulz unashamedly has Linus recite the passage above, but cleverly inserts something that reveals its true meaning—Linus lets loose of his security blanket. At the same moment he is saying, “Fear not,” (NIV: “Do not be afraid.”) he drops the blanket. Now, as any fan of Peanuts knows, Linus was attached to his blanket regardless of the many attempts by the other Peanuts characters to separate him from it. It is a continuous theme of the strip. So, the belief is Schulz was being very intentional in this scene to communicate something important, essential really, which is that true security is found in Jesus.
Like so many of us, Linus sought security in something else—his blanket. We may have long ago put away our blankets and stuffed animals that gave us solace when we were children, but most of us still hold onto security blankets of another sort. It may be a relationship, a job, a home, our status, or traditions of the past. Or we may feel our lives are on the edge and are seeking after similar things because we see them as promising security. Regardless, like Linus, many of us live our lives clinging to that which we feel makes us secure.
The message of Christmas, the announcement from the heavenly realms, is that the Savior of the world, Immanuel, laid aside His security to come be with us so that we might find true security in Him. As it was in the 1st Century, so it is still today that men and women seek to assuage their fears from the things of this fallen world. And, as was true 2000 years ago, so it is today: They always come up short. True security can only come through Jesus.
In the last scene of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Linus lays his blanket at the foot of the Christmas tree. The symbolism should not be missed. The wonderful message the angels brought on the morning of the Savior’s birth is we can be spared the endless, grueling search for security. No more flailing about to grab hold of whatever we can find. All that is needed is to lay down the “blankets” to which we cling and embrace Jesus instead.
May this Christmas you find joy in this world because you believe with all of your heart that Jesus reigns and your security is found only in Him.
© Jim Musser 2016