The Honest Truth

I love to watch Christmas movies.

Charlie Brown’s Christmas is among my family’s favorites! Down to earth humor alongside honest truth. Linus, though portrayed as the younger, more insecure character holding his blanket, often comes through with the honest truth.

Linus quotes from Isaiah 9:6 (KJV),

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” 

This is how Linus explains the honest truth about Christmas to the ever depressed and clue-less Charlie Brown.

“For unto us”…

It always starts at the beginning.

Us.  Who are we anyway?

Quoting from Genesis 1:27 (NIV),

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

We are God’s creation.  Formed in the womb by Him.  Logically, honestly and truthfully we are God’s children; a people belonging to Him, because we are made by Him.

I am going to take the liberty to make a broad summation – and it may sound a little strange…but I am going to say:

“For unto us”…Christmas exists.

It was for us that the Child was born.

It was for us that a Son was given.

Wow.

It’s kind of humbling to think of Christmas like that; and that is the honest truth.

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Join me over the next few days as I attempt to make sense of the passage that Linus so aptly quoted!

The Heart Drives the Action

Every year it’s the same.  For twenty five days in December, my children arise and begin discussion about whose turn it is to pick the chain.  This is not a ponderous chain as is referred to in Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol; it is a chain made up of colored construction paper that hangs in our dining room.  This is a chain everyone eagerly takes apart link by link.  Inside each link is my handwritten note of an activity to do in preparation of the season.  Each year I have included a new Christmas movie to enjoy.  Consequently, we have a pretty good collection to watch – it’s all part of our tradition!

During dinner tonight, I was thinking about all the conversation that has been going on in regard to the Newtown killings; so many opinions, so many sides & arguments as to what we should do to prevent such things from happening. Emotions are high.

One word came to me: Heart

.

It’s always about the heart.

All the movies we watch at Christmas, are always about the heart.

Miracle on 34th Street: Doris & Susan Walker’s hearts softened and they believed in the impossible.  The Grinch: his heart glowed as it grew three sizes.  Charlie Brown’s Christmas: Charlie Brown’s friends give him the end credit for his pathetic tree – after all, it’s the heart that counts.  A Christmas Carol: old Ebeneezer’s heart is changed drastically and he becomes a kind and generous person. Rudolph: it’s about the heart accepting others even if they are different.  It’s a Wonderful Life: George has a change of heart and gains contentment in his life – discovering the heart of each person effects those around them. These are highlights of our viewing.

We love these movies! Not just those in my family but the general public loves these movies.  Why?  Why do we watch year after year and tear up, feel good, and get satisfaction over seeing them?  I believe it is because they all touch our own hearts. And we all yearn to see hearts changed in others.  We root for the goodness that the heart change brings.

God is just like that.

He yearns for heart change. Ours.

Without Jesus in the manger, without His sacrifice of blood on the cross, without His resurrection from the dead, we would not be capable of changed hearts.  Scripture says, “That if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10: 9 – 10).  The heart drives the action.

We see it in the movies.  Doris fires Santa and Susan has no imagination, the Grinch is a thief, Charlie is depressed, Ebeneezer is stingy and cruel, the reindeer are judgmental, and George is suicidal.  Until…until their hearts are changed!

It is the same with us.

More rules and regulations, more guns…no guns, metal detectors and practice drills will not make us safer, our children safer, or our culture at large safer; these things are only pacifiers at best. We are only truly safe in the arms of our Lord.

Our culture at large needs heart changes, one by one, because the heart drives the action.  It’s always about the heart.  Changed hearts means changed actions. This is the answer to everyone’s frantic worry; it’s one word: Heart. The heart is the root of the issue.  Won’t you consider giving yours to the Lord Jesus?  Ask Him in; confess Him and believe in Him; you will be safe.

If you have a heart that loves the Lord, love those around you and share the love given from above...until their hearts are changed.