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What Christmas Is All About (3 of 3)
Series: Songs of the Season
December 19, 2004
Introduction: "Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?" That's the question good ol' Charlie Brown asks in that TV classic A Charlie Brown Christmas. His query comes toward the end of the story. Charlie wasn't having a good Christmas. Nothing was going right. He complains about all the materialism. No one seems sympathetic. Everyone else's happiness just made him feel worse. Lucy, always ready with advice solicited or otherwise, suggests that he might regain his Christmas spirit by volunteering to direct the school Christmas pageant. That only makes matters worse. The last straw, or should I say the last needle, drops when everyone makes fun of his pitiful little Christmas tree.
Finally, he cries out in desperation, "Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?" Who of us hasn't asked that question? Our Christmases get cluttered with more and more stuff. Every year gets more hectic. We have more and do more. At the same time, we wonder if there shouldn't be more to Christmas. We are often left wondering with Charlie Brown, "Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?" Ultimately little Linus solves Charlie Brown's problem with a quiet and reverent reading of our text.
Today I want to concentrate on the angel's part in our text. For the three weeks leading to Christmas, we've been looking at the songs of the season. Luke 1-2 contains four songs, each in response to a part of the Christmas story.* These are the original Christmas songs. Part of this third song provides one of the few occasions for a church like ours to sing in Latin. We did it last week when we sang the familiar carol Angels We Have Heard on High. The chorus of the hymn comes directly from the Latin "Gloria in excelsis Deo" or "Glory to God in the Highest."
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