My mother-in-law loves to tell the story of the time she took my son, age five, to see his first movie. It was Beauty and the Beast – probably not the best selection, since throughout the entire movie, Jared kept demanding in a loud husky voice, “Gwandma, where’s da beast? Where’s da beast?” She had to keep reassuring him. “Honey, the beast is good. I promise. Just keep watching.”
A few days later, Jared announced at the kitchen table that he wanted to see the new Peter Pan movie, Hook. But first he had to be assured of one thing. He looked at his Grandma, and asked, “Gwandma, Is Captain Hook good or bad?” Before she could respond, he declared to his three-year old sister, “It’s okay. Gwandma will tell us da twooth.” Grandma had earned his trust as a twooth-teller.
This Christmas season, as the tentacles of Covid seem to be closing in and the headlines have used the word, unprecedented, more times than we can count, where do we find truth?
Last night Brett and I rewatched A Charlie Brown Christmas. Charlie Brown is bemoaning the commercialism of the season, the demise of his Christmas play, and of course his tiny tree with its needles falling. What is Christmas all about? he asks. That’s when Linus takes the stage.
It is reported that Charles Shultz, a Jesus follower, would not agree to writing the Peanuts special without the insertion of the Biblical narrative. So the spotlight turns to Linus and he says these words from the book of Luke,
For behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
If you watch closely you may notice a subtle, but profound detail that Charles Shultz also inserted. While saying these words, Linus actually drops his beloved security blanket. Why did Shultz have him do that?
I think it is because God is our real security. In fact, He is our only security, especially during unprecedented times. This is twooth. That God Himself was born to a peasant girl, in a stable, in an insignificant town, and showed His glory to shepherds and to those in the subordinate caste system of the day.
He is our twooth-teller, this Christmas and always.
(As an aside, it was Moody Radio, 90.1 in Chicago, who made this observation about Linus dropping his blanket. For the countless times I have seen this Peanuts special, I have never noticed this detail. It took a pandemic and the circumstances of 2020 to make this such a profound gesture.)