By Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, November 12, 2015

The youth of Highland Hills and I went to see a movie Sunday night. Since our bonfire fellowship got rained out—“good grief”—we, well I, decided we were going to see the new “Peanuts” movie. What a great way to spend a rainy, Sunday evening anyway. I have always been a big fan of Charlie Brown and the gang. Who doesn’t love “The Great Pumpkin” on Halloween? And Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without “A Charlie Brown Christmas” each year. In fact, this year is the 50th anniversary of that Christmas classic.

Oh yeah, back to the movie. Well, as you all know, Charlie has always been a not-so-lovable, lovable character who just can’t get anything right. Often times, Charlie Brown is his own worst enemy. He seems to be one of those people who sees the glass as half empty. He tries to take himself and life a little too seriously and ends up, as he puts it, a failure. Well, we know better, don’t we? We all know that Charlie Brown really is a good guy and that often times he just tries too hard to get it right, especially when he puts his trust in Lucy, who always pulls the football away right as he’s trying to kick it.

Speaking of Lucy, let’s consider the other characters in this lovable comic family for a moment. Lucy, of course, is the advice-giving girl who always wants to share advice but never wants to take it. There’s Linus, who literally carries his insecurities around with him in the form of a blanket. There’s Schroeder, who just wants to play some good music that everyone else should appreciate. There’s Pigpen, who is a great guy but needs to take care of some serious hygiene issues. There’s Franklin, the fun-loving boy who always has a bright spirit and positive attitude. There’s Peppermint Patty, the outspoken girl who always feels free to share her opinion with everyone. There’s little Sally, who loves Linus and is so proud of her big brother, Charlie. And of course, there’s Snoopy, in many ways, the real star of the show, who along with his friend Woodstock, are out to save the world and patronize his owner, Charlie Brown.

Throughout the movie, the gang comes to life with all of their characteristic traits. I won’t spoil the theme or ending of the movie for you, but I will tell you that “the little red-haired girl” plays a prominent role in this movie and that Charlie Brown spends the whole movie trying to get up the nerve to…well, you’ll have to see the movie to see how it works out.

As I sat there watching this soon-to-be-a-classic movie, I thought, as I often do, about our church. Just like Charlie Brown and the gang, we each have our own characteristics and idiosyncrasies. We each come to the water, the table, the cross, and the church with different gifts, needs, and expectations. We each have goals, dreams, plans, and ideas. We each have a place in our church and in God’s kingdom. Just like the peanuts gang, we are a family, a family that loves and supports each other no matter what.

Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert! Don’t read this next paragraph, if you want to see the movie. I mean it. Don’t read it! At the end of the movie, because of Charlie Brown’s honesty and integrity, he is actually seen as a great guy by “the little red-haired girl,” who tells him that after she gets home from summer camp… well, you’ll need to see the movie. Suffice it to say, Charlie Brown turns out looking pretty good in this one. I think Highland Hills looks pretty good too, thanks to “Lucy,” “Schroeder,” “Sally,” “Franklin,” “Pigpen,” “Linus,” “Peppermint Patty,” “Snoopy,” and of course, “Charlie Brown.” I could have put your real names here, but you all know who you are ;)