The WAY In The Manger
I would like to dedicate this message to Monsignor John Sammon – Orange County’s Chaplain to the Fire Department and various Police Departments. He served as a Fire Chaplain since 1945 and went to be with the Lord at age 90.
One of the many things he enjoyed was Peanuts/Charlie Brown. His office had pictures, comic strips, articles and even toys of all the characters.
The reference to both Monsignor Sammon and Charlie Brown today are for two reasons:
1. A remembrance of his love for Peanuts.
2. To bring back to us all the true meaning of Christmas
Last year I showed a video clip in my church about a conversation between Linus and Charlie Brown concerning the true meaning of Christmas.
This year “Charley Brown Christmas” will air on television for its 58th consecutive year.
The first time it aired in 1965 it drew 15:4 million viewers making it the second-most watched program on television
Last year, 13.6 million people watched it on Apple TV+, making it the 18th-most-popular show on television.
In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie shouts out of frustration, "Doesn't anyone here know what Christmas is all about?!" The sweet delicate voice of Linus then says, "Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about," and he proceeds to recite the birth of Christ narrative from the Gospel of Luke (KJV) of the Bible. "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, and goodwill toward men,' " Linus says. "And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
But for the past few years there have been threats of taking it off the air. The reason – “The religious content.” Is Christmas still true to Linus' recitation? It should be, for the word "Christmas" is always capitalized precisely because virtually everything we do as a part of the Christmas tradition celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
That name that’s above every other name yet, we are told we shouldn’t speak that name as it may offend someone. The name by which “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess” yet, it is being systematically removed from schools, books and more recently television.
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR MANKIND
-God created man to have fellowship/relationship with Him
SIN ENTERED INTO MANKIND
-Sin sent man running from the presence of God.
-Still, God intended to be with man.
GOD HAD A PLAN
-Mankind was drowning in Sin
-But God had a LIFEBOAT!
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
John 14:6 Jesus said:, I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.
There is a WAY! His name is Jesus! He WAS The WAY in a manger over 2000 years ago. Today,
-He sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding for Christians.
-He IS the WAY out of your SIN.
-He IS the WAY out of your SORROW.
-He IS the WAY out of your BROKENESS.
That’s what this season is all about.
I wish you a Charlie Brown Christmas,
Pastor Fernando Villicana
Fire Department Chaplain