Lights, Please. When my sixth-grade class staged a production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” most of the boys wanted to be Pig-Pen, and the girls were divided between Lucy, Sally, Violet, and Peppermint Patty.
As for me, I set my sights on the role of Linus and did something I had never done before.
I memorized a portion of the Bible. Seven verses! Luke 2:8-14.
It never dawned on me I was committing Scripture to memory. I saw it as simply memorizing a long speech from a script.
Luke 2:8-14 says,
In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: 14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!
I totally nailed the audition. I started with the words “Lights, please,” continued with “And there were in the same district, shepherds abiding in the field keeping watch over their flock by night…,” and finished with the memorable line “And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” It probably also helped that I was one of the shorter boys in the class and already had a Linus-style haircut.
That humble production may have been a turning point in my life. I was just playing a role, but as Linus, I was actually sharing the greatest news in the history of the world. Something like that can have an impact on a preteen.
Since then, my appreciation for the Bible and committing portions of it to memory has greatly expanded. I have also been on stage a few times since sixth grade. As a producer for Christian radio, national speaker, and author of more than 30 books, I can even trace my chosen career back to that performance.
I see two takeaways here: Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we were all a little more like Linus? And never underestimate how a door can open in middle school that changes a child’s life forever.
Have a great holiday season.
Question: What Scripture do you need to commit to memory this season?