“Charlie Brown’s Little Tree”
There’s an important moment in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (which, if you have not seen, you should never say aloud). Charlie is talking to Linus about how unhappy he is this Christmas season. He thinks something is wrong with him because he doesn’t feel how he’s supposed to feel. He doesn’t fit with the modern take on Christmas, but he tries to keep himself busy by directing a Christmas play, and buys into the consumerism with a pink, metal, Christmas tree. But still: something is missing. Being too busy and spending too much – sound familiar?
If at the end of this holiday season you are happy to be “done with it,” then you haven’t truly experienced the holidays. Now is about becoming still, loving up on family, and reflecting on the blessings of this past year. I hope you’ll take a moment to truly experience these Holy Days, to be excited, and to seek out the presence of God, even in small encounters. Remember that it was a small tree – a small tree with withered branches – that turns Christmas around for Charlie Brown and that entire community.
Small moments have piled up to make a huge year of blessings for University Church: in our revamped rummage sale, which is a monthly resale shop now; in opening our doors to a wider community conversation around equal rights or access to a Level One trauma center; in having Jeremiah Wright with us for Mother’s Day; in our new sound system, or a digital newsletter; in our Youth Lock-In; in the dance choir; in our witness in Guatemala, Angola, and Colombia; in our Advent Festival and Soul Food Cooking Contest; in welcoming new members, and in the many children we see moving around our legs; in paying all of our bills, and having one of the biggest Stewardship pledge years in our church’s history…Thanks be to God, and thanks to YOU for your prayers and support. This happens because of your investment, near and far.
It’s that time again, to catch up on pledges, make a new pledge for 2014, or give a small gift to remember us this holiday season. Everything you donate is tax-deductible, and we ask that you would consider University Church in your holiday gifts. Through your gifts we are able to sustain and expand: to be the church of and for the people.
Thank you for thinking of us, and thank you for your little tree. Be blessed, and come see us soon or stay in touch through the website. Much is happening.
Happy Holidays, and See You Soon!!!
-Pastor Julian DeShazier
“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.”
― Charles M. Schulz