Christmas Repost: Linus and Lucy – CB Part Six

This was originally posted in 2007. I like it. I’m reposting it.

For this next section, I need a dance break. Play the dance music from A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, choose a character, and dance like them.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Wasn’t that fun?

That iconic music it is the most recognized song in all of Peanuts history. Many people call it the Charlie Brown theme.

Actually, the song is called “Linus and Lucy.” There is no “Charlie Brown Theme” in this show.

Which brings me to the sixth and final reason why A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS is the best holiday special ever:

It’s not about Charlie Brown.

By that I mean it’s not about you.

Or, more to the point, it’s not about me.

“I am learning that the church is at its best when it gives itself away… God doesn’t choose people just so they’ll feel good about themselves or secure in their standing with God or whatever else. God chooses people to be used to bless other people. Elected, predestined, chosen – whatever words people use for this reality, the point is never the person elected or chosen or predestined. The point is that person serving others, making their lives better.” – Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis

Charlie Brown is a vessel – and the real heart of the show isn’t about how Mr. Brown is changed or helped; it is about what he does for his community.

To understand the full impact of this, I must ask you to follow the blanket.

Did you know the term “security blanket” comes from the Peanuts? That’s the blanket we need to follow.

In the special, Linus’ blanket is featured in five scenes:

In the opening ice skating sequence, Snoopy tries to steal the blanket. Linus will not let go, and they end up wrapping up Charlie Brown and sending him skidding into a tree.

In the snowball scene, Lucy says that Linus will have to let go of the blanket someday – when he becomes an adult. Linus explains he will simply make a suit of the blanket.

When the parts are handed out, Lucy threatens her brother, saying he has to let go of the blanket to be a shepherd. He instead makes a costume of it.

The writers out there already know this, but three is the magic number, the number of completion.

If you want to make a point in a story, you show it once.

If you want to reinforce the point, you show it twice.

If you want to establish the point as Gospel Truth, you show it three times.

Here is Schulz’ message: under no circumstances will Linus give up his blanket.

This is critical; if we don’t get that, we cannot understand A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS.

So let me repeat: under no circumstances will Linus give up his blanket.

And then he does.

First, when reciting the Christmas story. For a moment, and just a moment, Linus forgets about the blanket.

More exactly, on the words “Fear not,” he lets go of his other security; retrieving the blanket as soon as the recitation is over.

And then at the end, Linus gives up his blanket completely to wrap around the base of the tree.

“I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.” -Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas

A little sacrificial love.

Linus tells Charlie Brown earlier that he knows what Christmas means; then he shows that meaning in action.

Sacrificial love.

Linus is changed by Charlie Brown’s search for meaning; the whole community (which joins in decorating the tree) is changed; even Lucy – who admits that the blockhead did get a good tree after all — is changed.

Why is A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS the best holiday show ever?

 

“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” – Psalm 30:11

Merry Christmas.

Just my thoughts,

Sean
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