We are studying the book of Luke in our community Bible study. This means that in the crisp month of October we are reading very non ”Octobery” passages. It just seems odd to be reading about the birth of Jesus anytime besides December. I know, I know… the Bible is for ALL seasons in life. Of course I am finding and understanding new truths each time we gather to read and discuss the Word, but seriously, our scripture memory verse this week was Luke 2:11.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
We went over it as a group and the leader encouraged us to memorize each week’s key verse. “No problem there,” I quipped to the lady sitting next to me, “learned that one from Charlie Brown.” Come on, that was kind of funny right? I mean, who of us hasn’t heard the sweet voice of Linus uttering these lines in the Charlie Brown Christmas special over the years? I was flabbergasted (always wanted to use that word in print) by her response of, “Who is Charlie Brown?”
Who is Charlie Brown?! Who is Charlie Brown?! I did not even attempt to hide my flabbergatsedness (spell check doesn’t have a “suggested” spelling for this word, but it is still the best way to describe my demeanor during this conversation). In her defense I did make that reference totally out of context. I mean, it is October and Christmas specials are not even being advertised on TV yet. She probably wished she had just smiled and nodded at me instead of saying, “Who is Charlie Brown?” I felt compelled to make sure she knew what I meant. I didn’t want her to think I was nuts. I reminded her of the popular cartoon special and prodded her memory with “you know, the Christmas special with Linus and Charlie Brown?” “Ooooh!” She quietly exclaimed when she finally “got” my comment. This entire verbal transaction took place in hushed tones, while the leader was speaking, and lasted only minutes, but this morning I find it is one of the more memorable lessons of that night.
What if someone had never heard of Charlie Brown? Let’s face it, it is not life changing. Ones exposure to Charlie Brown does not create a great impact on a life lived. (Unless, like me, you find it helps you memorize some of the Bible) Yet I found myself startled at the idea that someone had not heard of him. Big deal right? In comparison, how “flabbergasted” should I be when I consider those who have not heard of or met my Savior?
Just as I assume EVERYONE has at least heard of Charlie Brown, sometimes we assume we are surrounded by people who have at least heard of Jesus. Our church has been focused on missions this last month. In addition to meeting the physical needs of others we are challenged to remember the need to share the good news of the hope for redemption we have in Jesus Christ. I know that includes the mission field of my neighborhood, but I don’t think I really thought about the likelihood that God has allowed someone to enter my sphere of influence who knows nothing of Him or His love. I was seriously determined to make sure the lady beside in Bible study knew who Charlie Brown was, I should be even more so determined to make sure those in my life Know who Jesus and how much God loves us.