Skip to content

Getting What You Need at Christmas

One of my favorite “Peanuts” cartoons records a conversation between Linus (the philosopher-theologian) and Sally (a true daughter of the world). Linus is reading the Christmas account from Luke and he pauses after key phrases to explain the words, a kind of verbal commentary. At the end he asks Sally what she thinks about all that and Sally says, “I think if I don’t get everything I want for Christmas this year, I’m gonna gross out!”

Poor Sally! Little does she realize that everything she could want she has already been given; everything she thinks she wants (and probably won’t get) just muddies the waters and obscures her real condition. Her problem lies not in wanting something (or in her case, some things) but in wanting things that are unequal to her needs. She has set her sights too low and is destined for a life of amassing treasures and then wondering why she feels unsatisfied.

I suppose we all have a touch of Sally within us, and whether we realize it or not, we can probably find a bit of Linus too! True, Linus has his head in the clouds at times, but that may not be a bad place to roam once in awhile. Especially at Christmas do we roam those lofty landscapes seeking to hear the word that we want to hear above all the words we are likely to hear—call it the essential word: that in Christ, God has uniquely entered our world speaking a language we can understand.

A language equal to our condition … and then some.