Giving encouragement and sharing the meat of God’s Word
Monday, December 18, 2017
Naughty OR Nice?
Have you been naughty or extra nice this year?Will
you receive a lump of coal in your stocking or everything you wished for? “You
better watch out…Santa Claus is coming to town.” Remember, “He’s making a list;
and checking it twice; gonna find out who’s naughty and nice…He sees you
when you’re sleeping…knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or
good, so be good for goodness sake!”
Aww, Christmas fun! Interestingly,
a few days ago I stumbled upon a website where you can actually ask Santa if
you are on the “NAUGHTY or NICE” list. Yes
indeedy, folks! Step right up, because at: http://www.claus.com/naughtyornice/nn_hmpg2.php you will find Santa’s Nice-o-Meter.By typing in your name and then clicking the “ASK SANTA” button,
you can see where you stand on Santa’s NaughtyorNice scale.
Of course, I had to ask. Mine said, I’m nice, yet I’ve been naughty at
times. The last two weeks though, I’ve been neat, polite, respectful, and I
share well, but I could be better. And with a bit more effort, I could be near
the top of the “nice” list. Yay, for me!!
We laugh, but honestly, it scares me
when I see the god-like qualities we extend to Santa. And the myriads of
children who think this is what Christmas is all about.
I know the name “Santa” is supposed to
come from the word “Saint”, but did you ever notice how much it resembles a scrambling
of the name, Satan? Good grief, Charlie Brown, no wonder the Christian
population is dwindling.
Thankfully, Santa is only brought out
once a year. But sadly, the other god-men, i.e. Marvel Heroes, DC Comic
characters, like Superman and Batman, are all year long.
I try to downplay the Santa thing as
much as possible, just like my mother did (Thanks, Mom!). And, hopefully this
is what the early Christians were trying to do when they decided to celebrate
the birth of Jesus during the pagan holiday of Saturnalia. Still, there are
these two parallels we just can’t eradicate and they seem to be running closer
and closer together. But, the saddest
thing about children believing in Santa Claus is there is no redemptive quality
in him at all.
As parents, we would never leave our “naughty” children
out of Christmas, so we blur
the lines and make Santa an extender of grace. It’s a nice thought, but grace
is receiving a gift we don’t deserve; something Santa’s “Naughty or Nice” list
Yet, because God extended grace to us,
we, in turn, can extend grace to our children. And without God’s grace, there
would only be a NAUGHTY list;
because NICE is a heart issue and as sinful humans, we will
always have ulterior motives. Since the fall of Adam, we’ve been in the
clutches of evil, desperately needing grace and redemption – to be purchased
back from the god of this world.
But, this is impossiblewithoutJesus.
Had the sinless Son of God not been born
into humanity, He could not have died in our place to
pay our ransom and we would be without hope. But thankfully, “…God so loved the
world that He gave His only Son…”
This “…Grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men…”
[For] “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself…”
offering forgiveness of sin
and His Gift
of eternal life to ALL who would receive it through repentance,
whether naughty or nice.
Nothing else is so freeing, so
completely wonderful and satisfying. Only Jesus offers salvation and life
eternal. The greatest Gift ever given; something we can’t earn and
something we definitely do not deserve. Because of Jesus, we’re on the NICE list; entered into the Lamb’s Book of Life.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”