“Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.” – Charlie Brown
“Good grief, Charlie Brown!” The Charlie Brown Christmas tree may seem like the perfect Christmas tree for 2020 because of its lack of what one may think a tree at Christmas should look like. Just as many may view this “new normal” that the year 2020 has turned out to be so far. But what if our perspective shifted?
Charlie Brown was very depressed and upset (and had every right to be) about the way the true meaning of the holiday season should be celebrated. There are many in 2020 who find themselves feeling a little like Charlie Brown this holiday season – depressed, upset, disappointed.
But, what if those disappointments and heartaches could lead and inspire us as a community to truly know God in a new light? What if He is using this pandemic to create bonds; to grasp at memories and passions we may have forgotten; to now envision and respond by being His hands and feet in our neighborhoods; and lead others to place hope in Jesus. What if in death, He brings new life? What if hope can be brought to the hopeless?
“I don’t know Charlie Brown; this doesn’t seem to fit the modern spirit,” Linus said to Charlie Brown as he picked out a less-than-desirable Christmas tree.
2020 did not take God by surprise. He is busy preparing hearts, hands, and feet for motion. He is using this time of quarantine. He has gifted some with a lighter schedule than normal, while others are exhaustedly working overtime to care for others.
Can this year really be considered a gift after so much loss – loss of family members, loss of jobs, loss of so many things. This terrifies us and shakes our being. We do not recognize it as something to be considered a gift. If it is a gift, where can we return it?
What if we look deeper, though, deeper than the hurt, deep enough to see the hope? In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Paul said, “Therefore we do not lose heart… yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles… so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
So, what if this time of isolation brings forth new ways to minister to our families, neighbors, and others in our community? What if we use this time to renew our minds and deepen our relationship with God and our families?
If… if we see the remainder of 2020 in a different perspective, just think of how that can empower us to fulfill what God laid on our hearts, perhaps many years ago, and bring so much hope into our communities! What if the hurt and losses can ignite a passion and reveal a purpose that God created you for?
Easier said than done, but prayer is where a movement like this can shift your heart’s heartache and bring restoration. With God all things are possible. 2020 has been a relationship builder for families and workers.
“I never thought it was such a bad little tree…It’s not bad at all really, maybe it just needs a little love,” Linus said to Charlie Brown.
2020 may not have turned out like any of us imagined, but what if the heartache birthed a new realization during this season. What have you used your gift of time for? Has it brought you closer to others? I encourage you to dig deeper and take notice. There have been some good things about your 2020. Revisit those moments, cherish them. Not even 2020 can take that from you.
At the end of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Charlie yelled, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus responded, “Lights, please.”
A spotlight shines on him as he said, “And there 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:’ [Linus drops his security blanket. Remember he carries it everywhere with him] ‘for behold, I bring unto 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 Savior, 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 in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Linus looked at his friend and said, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”