This is the 2015 Christmas version of Doyle’s Half Dozen. I don’t know if I will be required to do a DHD next week, but if I have to pull a Bob Cratchit, I’ll figure something out.
Here are some of my favorite Christmas-themed topics.
- Linus’ Legendary Lecture
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” television special just celebrated 50 years this month. Love this show. It’s definitely a Christmas tradition, and not only do I love how this priceless Peanuts piece stirs fond childhood memories, this animated feature goes against modern-day culture.
A friend shared a link to an article by Jason Soroski titled “Just Drop the Blanket: The Moment You Never Noticed in A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Soroski’s opening already sold me when he said he was a fan of all things nostalgic and all things Christmas – “and so when the two are combined I am hooked, and the Charlie Brown Christmas special falls squarely into that category,” Soroski wrote.
But then Soroski enlightens readers on a quick motion that Linus does when he recites the Christmas Story, according to Luke 2. Click on the link above and enjoy this observation.
From the moment I hear Linus say “Lights please” I begin to tear up. And knowing Linus is speaking the Word of God, telling about God Incarnate coming to Earth in the form of a baby born of a virgin on national television, I believe every Christian should capture this tiny element of latitude for sharing the Gospel in a public showcase and rejoice with exceeding great joy.
- God and sinners reconciled
I share this every year, but it most definitely doesn’t get old.
Think about a time when you had a falling out with somebody. Perhaps it was with a family member or a close friend. It hindered your relationship. But then a moment happened when you made things right again with this person. Can you relate to this feeling? It’s like a major heavy burden had been lifted. The anger and bitterness were gone, and you were experiencing true joy because the relationship had been restored.
Now take that feeling of joy and multiply it times infinity. That, my friend, is what you should be feeling when you realize what God has done, which began through the birth of Jesus Christ. How do I know this? Because people around the world sing about it every year at Christmas time.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Glory to the Newborn King
Peace on Earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
There can be no greater feeling, knowing that our relationship with God the Father has been reconciled. We are no longer separated because Jesus came into this world to pay the penalty once and for all.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (II Cor. 5:17-18, HCSB).
- “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” sung by an interesting group
I love Christmas music. It’s priceless. It’s the only kind of music that can be written centuries ago and be played during this time of year on pop music stations today .
And not only is Christmas music priceless, the lyrics reflect the Gospel message. And not only do the lyrics of Christmas music reflect the Gospel, these same lyrics are sung by many secular artists and heard by many people who wouldn’t even grace the steps of a church building.
One of the most fascinating examples, for me, is when I hear the group Barenaked Ladies sing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” There’s just something significant about the group that sings the theme song to the show “The Big Bang Theory” also singing about Christ our Savior coming “to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.”
Watch and enjoy!
- Andy Griffith sings “Away in a Manger”
“The Andy Griffith Show” is also priceless. I could watch episodes of Andy and Barney over and over. I especially appreciate the early ones with Ellie the pharmacist who was a brief love interest for Andy. If you haven’t seen the Christmas episode where Andy and Ellie sing “Away in a Manger,” watch below. This is a great rendition.
- “If the Lord (not fates) allows”
I remember hearing Twyla Paris perform in a Christmas concert with other Christian artists. One song she chose to sing was “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The very popular seasonal piece has been said to be “the third-most performed Christmas song.”
There is a lot of history involved with this song, and even some debate. The song was introduced in the movie Meet Me in St Louis and was sung by Judy Garland.
But one of the elements of the song that intrigues me is the part that follows “Through the years we all will be together…” Paris pointed out this significance of the lyrics during the concert. She said she felt convicted to sing “if the Lord allows” instead of “if the fates allow.” So Paris shared that she contacted the songwriter to ask for his permission to acknowledge the Lord when she sang the song.
Come to find out, the songwriter originally wrote “if the Lord allows,” but had to change the wording. May we all come to understand the significance of God’s sovereignty (James 4:14-16) on our lives, even in the singing of a simple phrase.
- Star Wars Returns
My last DHD topic isn’t Christmas related, but it’s about the most popular movie right now, that premiers a week before Christmas.
I plan to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, possibly this weekend, as I know multitudes of people plan to do.
I ran across an article while viewing the one on Linus in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Titled “Five Christian Messages Found in Star Wars,” the writer gives some interesting aspects, but some cause me to be a bit leery.
I can agree with the writer on his points about unlikely settings and people who are used of God to reveal His glory, as well as his point on falling and redemption. I’m not so sure about his point of being a part of “something bigger.” It seems to lean toward New Age thinking. I welcome your feedback.
Thank you for reading Doyle’s Half Dozen this year. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!