I’m not Catholic. Well that’s only partially true. I actually am “catholic” I’m just not Roman Catholic. I’m more hillbilly catholic. The term “catholic” means universal. In that sense I am a part of that great universal, mystical, and invisible church which extends beyond all our denominational and non-denominational boundaries.
If the truth be told, all of us who call ourselves Christians can trace our roots back to the Catholic church. She is the mother of us all. Therefore, once a year and go to check on momma. That’s right. I have a tradition of going to mass on Christmas Eve, wherever Christmas may find me. This habit started as a teenager in Ottawa Illinois and this Christmas I shared the tradition with my son Noah as we worshipped at Immaculate Conception Church in Knoxville.
The priest and pastor, Father Ronald Franco, gave an inspiring “homily” That’s a “sermon” for you Baptists or a “message” for us who were raised Pentecostal. The Gospel was read from the classic Christmas story found in Luke chapter 2. We Protestants think we respect the Bible, but when “Catholics” read from the gospel, they cover the Holy Bible with incense demonstrating how “holy” these words truly are and we in the congregation get the added benefit of smelling the beauty of the gospel at the same time we are hearing it.
The priest’s entire “homily” was excellent, but he had a throwaway line, that arrested my attention. He mentioned that he watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” again this year as he does every year. He pointed out that when Linus shared the true meaning of Christmas and read the passage from Luke 2, he dropped his blanket when he came to the words “Fear Not.”
That was all the priest said about it and then he moved on. I didn’t move on, however, The fact that Linus dropped his blanket is Huge! In all of the Charlie Brown episodes, no one or nothing can separate Linus from his blanket. Linus is a very wise character but he is inseparable from his security blanket. It’s pretty clear that Charles Shultz was relaying the message that this story has the power to free you from fear and whatever addictions you may carry. God has broken into our world. He is forever, Emmanuel, “God with us!” Watch this excerpt once again and notice how Linus drops his blanket. Maybe you will drop yours as well.
Life Church Knoxville
We're an inter denominational church in Knoxville, Tennessee that believes that all people matter and should experience the love and power that comes along with a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ.