let peace on earth begin with us
When I was a child, my favorite holiday movies were the animated Charlie Brown specials that each came on once a year. After one of those evenings gathered in the family room watching, I always felt warm and a little safer in the world. Someone out there was talking about tradition, peace, and good will.
In particular, A Charlie Brown Christmas has(d) lines and scenes I can recall (in the original voices of the characters) 50 years later.
Amazing, considering how many other things I forget.
The basic plot: Charlie Brown is concerned about the commercialism of Christmas. Depressed and listless, he has worked himself into a funk (like we all can do). So as therapy, Lucy convinces him to direct the kids Christmas play. With the help of Linus (and a great jazz track), Charlie Brown finds the meaning of Christmas, and can celebrate once again like Snoopy.
It is a great lesson in handling the holidays.
Just now, writing away, Snoopy danced across my memory in front of his doghouse covered in lights. Maybe you need the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack to really see it with me.
The most memorable lines from the animated movie appear in the group’s Christmas play and are straight from the book of Luke in the Bible. (Luke 2:8-14 KJV)
I can hear the child’s voice in my heart:
“And there were 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. The angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring 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, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Hearing that phrase simply spoken by a child gives the words their full import.
Peace on earth.
Hard to argue with peace and good will, and why would we want to?
I understand it is easy to get caught up in grumpiness, to complain about winter or Christmas. But, we can choose to participate in all the wonderful hoopla,
First, we have to own the happy or the grump. Grump is a choice. Kind of reminds me of my grandson who noted that it is hard to be happy for other people if you are unhappy yourself.
Conversely, we can choose to see it all with different eyes. We can resolve to let go of anger, hurt, and broken expectations and enjoy ourselves.
Peace on earth and good will towards everyone is a mindset. It is humility and thankfulness, and letting go of yesterday’s crippling sad or bad.
In the light of Christmas, we can get out of self focus and choose joy. Then, in the midst of shopping, wrapping, or family infighting, we step out of the past and find the feel good moments.
Trust me and let anger and hurt go. They suck up all the energy and feel goods in a person’s life.
Quit wasting time on sad or frustrated. I know there are a thousand reasons to fuss and squirm, gripe and complain, but there is a bigger reason to stop. Your life is worth the effort. With that in mind right now, stop struggling.
If we decide early on to make a holiday a good one, we will overlook some things that normally trigger our bad attitudes.
We will embrace more joy and show more kindness. Eventually, we will feel some good things seeping in.
We can spread peace and good will or brokenness and anger. It is up to us.