In “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Charlie Brown is depressed because all the holiday hype doesn’t make him happy. Searching for meaning in Christmas, he gets a sad-looking little tree for the Christmas play, and the kids laugh at his choice. At the depths of Charlie Brown’s despair, he runs off, giving up on himself and the tree. Linus says, “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.” The kids decorate it, and when Charlie Brown returns, his tree has transformed.
If you’ve seen the show, you might notice that it’s a stretch to imagine that Charlie Brown’s scraggly tree could possibly end up looking like the tree in the final scene. It’s cartoon magic, but it makes the point that love can transform life.
Maybe we don’t think this kind of transformation is possible in the real world. But, on Christmas, God makes it possible! God has come to transform us. His love has come to help us recover the wonderfulness that is in us. God’s love is powerful.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
This awesome God noticed our struggles and our tendency to despair. He loved us so much that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
He came down to earth from heaven, Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable, And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly, Lived on earth our Savior holy.
He became one with us. His love continues to lift us up. God thinks we are worth it, and today, we know it’s true.
O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining, til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!