College Mound United Methodist Church
Our preacher is Pastor Larry Davis.  We are so blessed that he has been at College Mound for over 25 years!

Here's a very short sermon from last Sunday. My apologies to Charles M. Schulz, who brought the message of Christmas through Linus to so many who had probably never heard it!

Matthew 24: 36-44
A Charlie Brown Christmas – part one
Today’s scripture, as does all the readings for today, point a picture of impending doom: much like Violet when she hears that CB has been appointed director of the Christmas play. In her words, “We’re doomed”.
The message of Matthew is much like CB as he gives directions to the disinterested cast – “Pay attention”! Follow direction! Know what’s coming up next! Be prepared!
The cast, like the rest of the world, is content to be going about business as usual; doing their own thing; dancing to the rhythm that is being played – oblivious to what they are being told.

The Season of Advent – leading us to Christmas – is much like Charles Schulz’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Mr. Schulz was what I would consider to be “prophetic” in his story. Why has it lasted over these last 50 years as an icon? Because it tells the story of US! He tells our own story of how we feel as Christmas approaches: 
“I think there’s something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.”
And Linus responds for us all, “Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who could turn a wonderful season like Christmas into a problem.”

The Season of Advent is preparing us for the Incarnation – of God wrapping up God’s own self in human form and coming among us to BE WITH US! God is sending the light into the darkness to show us the way of salvation. O come, O come, Emmanuel (Emmanuel meaning, “God with us”).

And CB feels all alone – after all, he’s received no Christmas Cards – no greetings from the evangels telling of good news to all the earth; them that a Savior is coming that will be the light of the world; to bring Salvation to all the earth. Did you know that YOU’RE the evangel every time you send a Christmas Card? You’re the one telling the GOOD NEWS!

CB is full of fear – of all sorts and kinds – to put it bluntly, THE FEAR OF EVERYTHING! But the first message of Advent is HOPE – the hope that we CAN know in the ever present Christ with us! 
Lucy’s message to CB is that he should become involved in something other than himself – of course she has an ulterior motive – but nonetheless, isn’t that message of Christmas we should hear??? We should become involved in something larger than ourselves (which is certainly difficult as most of us are pretty large – especially after having just celebrated Thanksgiving with all that food)! We need to get involved in some Christmas project – and what Christmas project would be better than simply sharing the message of the Christmas angles – telling a fearful world to “Fear not”! And if our reply is the same as CB’s (I don’t know anything about doing that), then we should also be aware that there will be help to let us know how and what we should do (No, not Lucy – but certainly God’s own Spirit that is WITH US).

In a world that is telling us (as with Snoopy) that we should find the true meaning of Christmas: Money, money, Money! We need to be telling the world the truer meaning of Christmas: CHRIST IS WITH US! Some of us – MOST OF US still have never realized that truth – Christ is with us! We are still afraid of everything. And this is still a season that we are not happy and we don’t understand why.

Begin to reclaim the good news – that Christ is with us; and because of that, we do not have to be afraid or live in fear. And when we don’t know how to go about doing something (especially sharing the good news), the Christ that is with us will guide and direct us. So, all my fellow Charlie Brown’s out there – listen. . . listen to voice that is Christmas, Christ, Who is WITH US. And be prepared to share the Good News that is Christmas . . . even Jesus the Savior that is born. (Next week CB part 2)

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