Why Linus Dropped His Blanket
By Russell McKinney
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring 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.” (Luke 2:10-11, K.J.V.)
The character Linus from the Peanuts cartoon series is famously known for two things. First, he always carries his security blanket. Second, he gives the pivotal speech in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” You know that speech. It’s Linus quoting verbatim the K.J.V. of Luke 2:8-14 in response to Charlie Brown’s frustrated cry, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
As many times as you’ve watched Linus give that speech, have you ever noticed a particular thing that he does as part of it? Immediately following his voicing of the words, “Fear not” he drops his trusty blanket and doesn’t pick it up again until he has finished the speech. It’s as if he instinctively understands that you don’t need a security blanket when you know that Jesus is on the scene.
Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts series, converted to Christianity after returning home from serving in World War II. He read theological commentaries the way other people read popular novels, and he taught Sunday School at the churches he attended. He even led one class through a study of the entire Old Testament. He never became the hardcore fundamentalist type and no doubt he would have been labeled “too liberal” by many Christians, but he was never shy about lacing his daily comic strip with references to God and scripture. According to one online article, 560 of the nearly 17,800 Peanuts strips contain some type of religious, spiritual, or theological reference. Schulz himself once said, “I preach in these cartoons, and I reserve the same rights to say what I want to say as the minister in the pulpit.”
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” first aired on December 9, 1965, and the fact that its climatic moment was a speech that simply quoted a portion of the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus was downright shocking for the time. Other holiday specials, especially those aimed at kids, were content to major upon Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas trees, presents, family, etc. But not only did “A Charlie Brown Christmas” present the story of Christ’s birth, it also condemned the crass commercialism of Christmas. Let’s face it, that was pretty radical stuff for the time. For that matter, it still is today.
So, let me encourage you to go to YouTube, call up Linus’ famous speech, and watch for the precise moment when he purposely drops his blanket. You can view the whole scene in under two minutes, and it will be time well spent. Even more importantly, I would encourage you to drop any worldly security blankets to which you are clinging and instead place your complete trust in the Savior of whom Linus speaks. Just as that angel of the Lord wanted the arrival of Jesus to dispel all fear from the hearts of those shepherds on that night so long ago, fear and Jesus shouldn’t coexist in your heart, either. I’m not saying that the world isn’t a scary place that is filled with frightening things and frightening people, but I am saying that you don’t need a blanket in your hand when you truly have Jesus in your heart.
Russell Mckinney lives in the English Woods area of Spruce Pine and serves as the pastor of Roan Mountain Baptist Church in Bakersville.
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