- Ecclesiastes 2:24 (ESV)
In today's modern and increasingly secular world, we Christians worry about the impact of materialism and the lack of a spiritual foundation in America, but we also enjoy the fun surrounding Santa Claus, that jolly old fellow who makes his worldwide rounds each Christmas Eve. And the fun that is Santa is certainly understandable, we just have to remember to put it in the proper perspective which is secondary. Our primary duty during the season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and redouble our efforts to enforce our belief and live as He wants us to live. After all, all the gifts we give and receive are nothing compared to the gift that believing in Our Lord provides. Nothing can surpass the gift of Everlasting Life.
God wants us to have some fun, to laugh and sing and have a good time in our life just as the verse in Ecclesiates tell us. Jesus loved a good joke as well as anyone and enjoyed a cup of wine with His Apostles from time to time. He also wanted to see the children laugh and be happy which is something that clearly the personage of the dream of Santa Claus provides.
We all remember the excitement of waiting for Santa and hoping for that special gift we wanted. And as adults we also take great pleasure in watching the little ones as they show their excitement and wonder at this time of year; it brings back our own childhood memories. The glee and joy of a happy child on a Christmas morning is precious and when we incorporate it into the major event of the season, the birth of the Christ Child, it affords a fun experience for all while we put our primary effort toward remembrance of the Savior's birth in a manger so many years ago. And when are successful in our efforts, we take a major step in preparing our children to make their own personal commitment to Him as they grow and mature. Oh, they'll outgrow Santa but remember him and use him for their own children to come, but they'll never forget the Savior who lived and died for all of us.
So here's what we need to do. We need to have fun with Santa while we honor Christ. Never let materialism take the place of Him but do enjoy the fruits of our labor and share it with the children for both reinforcement of the story of this wonderful season and for some fun, excitement and joy. God approves of that, he just wants us to remember that it is a secondary matter, never to replace the importance of the meaning of Christmas. Keep it in the right perspective and it is healthy and it enriches the lives and memories of all us as we learn to navigate a secular world while retaining those beliefs that are so much more important in the big picture of really living.
So whether we are spending Christmas in the sometimes stark but alway beautiful Arizona desert near Tucson and the majestic saguaro, awaiting Santa on Christmas Eve in the Florida swamps with the gators, black bear and even a few panthers, or wherever else we might find ourselves, let the majesty of the Christ Child into life and into the life of those we love dearly. For while we celebrate his birth, just like we honor the life he gave for us thirty-three years later, HE LIVES and He's waiting to welcome us home when our time on earth is done.
Dear Lord, We thank you for this wonderful season and for what the birth of Jesus Christ means to us and to those wonderful children for whom we have been trusted by you for development and guidance. Help us to enjoy this wonderful time of the year while we always remember that everything we do and every gift we give should be used to further our purpose for you. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.