Friday, December 21, 2007

Hark! - CB Part Five

Okay, for the writers out there: let’s admit it. A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS has a rather odd structure. It’s almost as if it were a bunch of newspaper strips strung together…

Oh, wait. That’s right.

Even though its construction may not be tight, or traditional, when Mr. Schulz strung together those strips, he did use a structure.

Earlier, I pointed out that Charlie Brown begins the show making his complaint known. “I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess… I always end up feeling depressed.” (And I showed this as appropriate behavior by comparing it to the opening of a Psalm.)

For the rest of the show, Charlie explores that complaint, and at the end comes to the conclusion that G-d is greater than his worries. The special even concludes with a hymn of praise to G-d.

“Hark, the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinner reconciled!”

Which brings me to reason #5 for why A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS is the best holiday special ever:

The show is a Psalm.

That is the format of many of the Psalms – from complaint through exploration to praise.

Notice that Charlie Brown’s circumstances haven’t changed – everything that depresses him is still there.

“But the lament psalms never show us an external improvement in the situation. We know such improvement can happen through prayer, and the Bible attests to it, but not in these psalms. They attest to another reality: the change that takes place in the psalmist in the act of praying.” -Ellen Davis, Getting Involve With God

Charlie Brown’s circumstances haven’t changed, but, Charlie Brown has changed.

But more importantly… (to be continued)

Just my thoughts,


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