The Kid I guess it is natural to get a bit nostalgic around Christmas time. Please allow me to re-live one incident from my childhood. I suppose I was about 4 or 5 years of age. I was not only the youngest of our family, but just about the youngest of the extended family as well. So not only did I have parents and two older brothers, I had older cousins, and assorted aunts and uncles who all participated in our Christmas on some level. One of the threats that was used by all these older ones to get "the kid" in bed in a timely manner was -- "you'd better be in bed by the time Santa Claus gets here, because if you are still out of bed he won't leave anything for you!" Somehow this concept was burned into my childish mind. Add to this, the ominous words of that old Christmas song, you know the one... (please add your own music) "You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town." For the writer of this song, Jolly Ol' St. Nick is pictured as either an omniscient superman or a peeping tom! ...Back to the music... "He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake." So remember that all of these concepts were going through my tortured mind as we move to the next part of the story.

It was Christmas eve, I spent the day wondering if I had been bad or good -- wondering if my not liking peas equaled pouting. Meanwhile, one of my older cousins was off at a Christmas party and was playing the part of Santa Claus complete with the red suit, and fake beard. Someone got the bright idea that "Santa" should stop by our house after the party to amuse us kids on Christmas eve. I guess someone thought they should get double use out of the rented Santa suit. Anyway, I suddenly heard a bell ringing in our driveway. The adults all acted surprised as I was called to the window to see what was going on. I imagine they expected the kid to squeal with delight at the sight of his redness the Claus, since they had obviously forgotten their own inconsistency as to the rules of seeing the overgrown elf on Christmas eve! Well, when I saw Kris Kringle strolling up to my door, there was only one thing to do -- I made a mad dash for my bedroom, did a perfect headfirst dive (the kind Pete Rose used to do going into third base) right into my bed, pulled the covers over my head and hugged my pillow for dear life hoping against hope that the reindeer meister had not seen me with those twinkling, all-seeing eyes! Several adults came to the bedroom to coax me from my bed, while I am thinking they had best dive for the covers themselves. I really don't remember if they ever got me out of bed that night to see Santa or not, but I remember the feeling of being caught.

It wasn't long afterwards that my belief in Santa began to wane; the whole concept just didn't make any sense. How could I believe that toys were made by elves in a sweatshop at the North Pole when I knew for a fact most of the ones we got were ordered from the Sear's catalog and had Mattel and Hasbro stamped on them.

It has taken me a long time to get to my point but it is obvious, isn't it? One can believe in a personal God; it makes perfect sense. We know that His Son, Jesus Christ, came to this earth about two thousand years ago. We know that if He came once and said He is coming again (see John 14:3), He is coming again. His coming will not be announced with a bell but with a trumpet. The only question is, are you ready to meet Him? You can be, and the issue is not if we have been bad or good. Compared to Him we are all bad (Rom. 3:23). He wants to give us His goodness (righteousness see Rom. 4:3) through faith in Him. The day is coming when you will have a meeting with Him. Be ready!

Jesse Waggoner
Associate Pastor
© 2002 Bible Center Church

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