For the love of little trees.

Coincidences are something that I just don’t believe in. Maybe one day I will write about that but for today’s email, just know I don’t believe in them. So I couldn’t help but laugh when I read the daily devotional in Our Daily Bread for Saturday, December 5. Did you read it?

It talked about the birth of Jesus and specifically mentioned what Linus had to say in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” He recited the scripture from Luke about the birth of Jesus. Turns out that this cartoon Christmas special and Christmas itself, isn’t about little trees needing love. Who knew?

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria). And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:1-7 (NIV).

Clearly the leader of the Free World didn’t know or denies he knows it. Now before you think this is all about politics, it’s not. This is about truth. Last week we talked about “little white lies” and being less than truthful. For me, it’s also about denying the Gospel. How many times in the past have I not been totally truthful or told a flat out lie so as not to proclaim the Gospel? I don’t have an exact count but I know in the past I have failed to live by that standard so I am certain I denied Him, probably more than I would care to know.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2: 8-12 (NIV).

If we claim to be followers of Christ then when we are asked or confronted about Him, shouldn’t we share the “Good News”? Of course we should. If I had been interviewed or one of you about what Linus said, what would our answer be? Hopefully, not about little trees. Good grief!

Charles Shultz, who created the cartoon is credited with not giving in to network executives who wanted it removed in 1965. Over 50 years ago they thought it would be offensive. It is offensive.

We are ALL sinners, ALL have fallen short, and NONE of us are good enough. Our good works are mere dirty rags. The only way to Heaven and a relationship with God is through Christ. Isn’t being offended of our sin what brought us to Christ? If you don’t know Christ it should offend you. If it doesn’t there is a serious problem.

I hope that if I deny Christ or the Gospel message (like there is a difference in the two) and one of my brothers or sisters in Christ knows about it, I hope you are offended enough by my actions to confront me. PLEASE! This world is compromising, rationalizing and marginalizing Jesus every day. We must not be a part of it. Blasted little trees don’t need love, every soul on this earth needs Jesus.

Charlie Brown

I have to admit that I’m not a Peanuts fan. Just not. If Charlie Brown would just kick Lucy in the head one time and give the bully what she deserved for pulling the football up then maybe I would like it. But I have new respect for this Christmas program and for the fact that Charles Shultz was willing to stand for leaving the scripture in. Taking Christ out of Christmas seems ludicrous, yet it is happening. If we totally remove Him, why don’t we just start celebrating Festivus? Airing of grievances, feats of strength anyone?

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14 (NIV).

Back to coincidences or the non-belief thereof. You will never convince me that God didn’t know that the devotional in Our Daily Bread would be dated for the same week as the President boldly speaking for little trees. I have complete faith He (God) knew full well. The things that happen and the people that come into and out of our lives are all part of Gods plan. He is in control. Are we taking the time to slow down and look for Him?

Before some of you fly off the handle and think I have it out for little trees, you’re wrong. I enjoy trees just like everyone else. Especially little trees that grow up to be big trees. They offer homes for all sorts of wildlife, provide shade and lumber. Some are even so special they grow up to be Charmin. Those are my favorite trees.

Hypothetically, if you tell someone that Linus’ speech was about little trees and not Jesus, will anyone believe you when you are asked another question or just speak? When we are asked to confirm or to share the Gospel, we must do so. It’s no coincidence we have been asked.

It took more than a little tree to make the cross of Christ that we should be running to.

Hugh

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