Christ in Christmas
I take the funnies way too seriously. Because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, I was intrigued as to which comic strips would mention Christmas, but fail to mention Christ. I typically do this with Easter. I see who mentions things relating to Easter without mentioning Jesus, the Bible, or the resurrection. Very few mention our Savior rising from the dead.
Christmas is a bit different though. It has the name of Christ right in the name. How can people all over the world be in love with Christmas but not know anything about Christ? It’s one of the mysteries that I believe God has allowed because of the true nature of Christ. When Christ, the Anointed One, came into the world, He came meek and mild. He did not come proud, announced by the world powers. As a baby laying in a manger (feeding trough), He became a picture of the humble Savior. He maintained this humility all throughout His life. Even in death He was humble, laying down His life for us.
Matthew 12:15-21 makes special note of the humble life of Jesus. He had just won a debate with the Pharisees by healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. They had been accusing Him of breaking the Sabbath. He point blank asked them, “Is it against the law to do something good on the Sabbath?” They had no answer, see also Mark 3:4. Of course there is not one law in all of scripture that forbids someone from doing a good deed for someone else on the Sabbath. Here is the interesting point. When the Pharisees still opposed Him, plotting to destroy Him, He withdrew. You read that? Jesus withdrew from the confrontation. He had just demonstrated to everyone that the Pharisees were wrong, and instead of flaunting His victory, He stepped aside, just as He had stepped aside from His place of glory in heaven to come to this sinful world. In essence He was saying, “I’m not going to argue. If you want your bad theology you can keep it.” And this is the Creator of everything.
After Matthew described the incident, he points to Isaiah 42:1-4 which explains how the Messiah/Christ would come in a meek and mild way. This would be so that Gentiles would learn to trust Him. He would be so gentle that he would not cause arguments in the streets. He would have such hope for those bruised that He would not break off a bruised reed. A smoking candle with no flame might yet burst into flame once more, so He would not completely snuff it out. Even though the Pharisees were plotting to kill Him, He would hold out hope for them, as He does to all.
All the nations love the Baby in a manger. He’s unobtrusive. He is not judging anyone. He is meek and mild. This was intentional. This is so that the Gentiles can learn to trust Him. We continue to set up nativity scenes and many of us do not understand the real reason why. The name of Christ is all over the world right now in the name of Christmas. God is sending forth the message in a meek, mild, and unobtrusive way so that we can see His humility and trust Him, believe Him, and put our faith in Him alone and not anything that we have accomplished.
For the record, I am not anti-Santa, or anti-Christmas trees, etc. I am FOR presenting Christ as the Savior of the world. But here is a demonstration in our Sunday funnies today of the world celebrating Christmas, but many of them without Christ. Let’s start with those, and then move on to the strips that either hint or include the story of Christ.
9 Chickweed Lane ~ Christmas Tree.
Agnes ~ Gift, Lights. (Earlier in the week Agnes did say “Glory to the Newborn King”, but that was only to get Oreo Double Stufs.)
Andy Capp ~ Christmas Booze, Christmas Tree, Snowman.
Archie ~ Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree.
Arctic Circle ~ Christmas, Presents, Santa.
Arlo and Janis ~ Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree, Stocking.
BC ~ A Star.
Baby Blues ~ Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree, Presents.
Baldo ~ Emergency Christmas Gift!
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith ~ The Twelve Days of Christmas, but all the lyrics and changed, Christmas Tree.
Beetle Bailey ~ Merry Christmas.
Between Friends ~ Merry Christmas, Christmas Eve, Santa, Reindeer.
Big Nate ~ Merry Christmas, Presents.
Blondie ~ Christmas Tree, Gifts.
The Born Loser ~ Santa, Presents.
Bound and Gagged ~ Silent Night.
Breaking Cat News ~ Christmas Morning, Gifts, Merry Christmas.
The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee ~ Christmas Tree, Gifts.
Cathy ~ Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree.
Close to Home ~ Christmas Tree, Gifts
Crock ~ Santa, Christmas Tree, Presents, Sleigh, Reindeer.
Cul De Sac ~ Christmas Present, Santa.
Daddy Daze ~ Christmas Tree, Wrapping Paper.
Deflocked ~ Santa.
Dennis the Menace ~ Christmas.
Diamond Lil ~ Christmas themed movies.
Dog Eat Doug ~ Santa.
Dogs of C-Kennel ~ Christmas Tree, Santa, Presents.
Doonesbury ~ Merry Christmas.
Dustin ~ Christmas Season, Christmas Day, Christmas Tree, Presents, Stockings.
Family Tree ~ Christmas.
The Far Side ~ Santa, Reindeer, Christmas Tree, Gift.
Flo & Friends ~ Christmas.
For Better or For Worse ~ Christmas Tree, Gifts.
Foxtrot ~ Christmas, Christmas Tree, Presents.
Frank and Earnest ~ Christmas, Christmas Tree, Present.
Frazz ~ Christmas.
Free Range ~ Santa, Reindeer, Presents.
Garfield ~ Christmas Tree, Christmas Presents.
Ginger Meggs ~ Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree.
Hagar the Horrible ~ Santa, Christmas Tree, Presents, Reindeer
Heart of the City ~ Christmas Tree, Stockings, Happy Holidays.
Heathcliff ~ Merry Christmas.
Hi and Lois ~ Christmas Tree, Presents.
Jumpstart ~ Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree.
Lio ~ Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree.
Lola ~ Christmas Tree, Stockings, Presents, Christmas Elves.
Luann ~ Christmas Tree, Presents.
Marmaduke ~ Christmas Greetings, Christmas Eve Mayhem, Christmas Tree, Santa inference.
Marvin ~ Christmas Gifts, Christmas Tree.
The Meaning of Lila ~ Jingle Bells rewritten complete with a drunk Santa. Groan.
Momma ~ Merry Christmas, Santa.
Mother Goose & Grimm ~ Christmas Tree.
Mutts ~ Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree, Stockings.
Nancy ~ Christmas Present.
Non Sequitur ~ Merry Christmas, Santa, Reindeer.
Overboard ~ Santa.
Peanuts ~ Christmas Present.
Pooch Café ~ Santa, Gifts, Christmas Tree.
Red and Rover ~ Merry Christmas.
Rhymes With Orange ~ Santa, Reindeer, Presents.
Rose Is Rose ~ Christmas Tree, Holidays.
Sally Forth ~ Merry Christmas, Presents.
Scary Gary ~ Christmas Tree.
Sherman’s Lagoon ~ Christmas Tree, Presents, Santa.
Shoe ~ Christmas.
Specktickles ~ Santa.
Speed Bump ~ Santa, Reindeer.
Strange Brew ~ Santa, Christmas Tree, Stockings.
Take It from the Tinkersons ~ Christmas Tree.
Tank McNamara ~ Santa.
Wallace the Brave ~ Christmas Tree, Presents.
Wizard of Id ~ Christmas, Christmas Tree, Santa.
Wizard of Id Classics ~ Christmas.
Zack Hill ~ Merry Christmas, Christmas Tree, Presents.
Zits ~ Christmas Tree, Santa.
Now onto the strips that mention Jesus or point to the story in some way.
12. The Argyle Sweater ~ This strip has a very odd mention of the nativity scene. Apparently, Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus are playing poker for three items in the middle of the table: Gold, Myrrh, and Frankincense. Baby Jesus states that He just got another visit from the three kings, revealing his winner poker hand to be three kings, thereby winning the loot in the center of the table. Well, okay.
11. Bizarro ~ The scene where the angels appear to the shepherds, but mockingly speak of how we will celebrate His birth with Hollywood blockbusters. This one doesn’t quite hit the mark for me. If only it included just a little bit of the true story.
10. Gasoline Alley ~ Joyous Christmas, Nativity Scene. Kinda generic but better than nothing.
9. For Heaven’s Sake ~ The Wonderful Mystery of Christmas, Packages, The Holy Bible, ran on Dec. 19th. This one is good, but it doesn’t explain what the wonderful mystery of Christmas is, but it does mention the Bible, so there’s that. Maybe someone will pick up a Bible and read it as a result of this strip. Stranger things have happened.
8. Daddy’s Home ~ Two angels are holding a banner that says “Peace on Earth. Good will toward men.” That’s good, but the throwaway panel has Santa’s hand holding a Christmas ornament that looks like planet earth. I’m getting conflicting signals here.
7. Mallard Fillmore ~ Blessed Christmas, Quotation of Matthew 11:28. A bible verse and wishing everyone a blessed Christmas. That’s good, but a bit of creativity could have given us a bit more.
6. Barney and Clyde ~ Jesus was born, Christians, Christmas, Pagan Rituals. Interesting take in acknowledging Jesus and the fact that many today celebrate like pagans. This one comes close. I like it because I get a little snarky about Christmas as well. But they do mention Jesus was born.
5. Dick Tracy ~ Merry Christmas. Now here is something clever. Each panel has a character or set of characters and they are reciting lyrics to Christmas Carols. There is “Silent Night”, which pictures Dick Tracy by a phone not ringing. There is “O Little Town of Bethlehem” as an officer looks at a map, and some other clever portrayals. Check it out.
4. Crankshaft ~ “Forever and Ever, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.” A Church. This was part of a storyline whereby they were travelling to see a performance of “Messiah”, and these are the lyrics now being sung. See Funky Winkerbean.
3. Funky Winkerbean ~ This also had a storyline whereby they were going to a church to watch a performance of “Messiah”. The Crankshaft/Funky Winkerbean crew is in church listening to a presentation of “Messiah”, specifically the Hallelujah Chorus.
2. Brewster Rockit ~ Christmas Tree, Star, Merry Christmas, and a reference to changing your perspective to find the star, as the star represents hope and light. I really like this one. Christmas is about hope and light. If only there were a reference to Jesus, or the birth of Jesus, it would be my winner for today.
1. Prickly City ~ Nativity Scene, God Bless Us Every One! I pick this one as today’s winner. The nativity scene is well drawn, a star is shining overhead, and an acknowledgement that blessings are coming from God as a result. There could be a bit more, but sometimes simplicity works.
Oh, and by the way, Merry Christmas! May the LORD Jesus Christ richly bless you as we remember the birth of the Saviour.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman