What Santa Claus can teach the church
One of our family traditions involves watching the movie, “Elf” each year on Thanksgiving night after we’ve enjoyed a delightful meal together. There’s one scene in this quirky movie that involves Santa’s big book of gifts.
Every person’s name is listed in alphabetical order. All you have to do is find the name and you can see what they’ve requested from Santa. If you asked Santa, he wrote it down and is working on getting your gift to you on Christmas Eve. Chances are, it’s in the big bag of goodies in the back of the sleigh.
Now before you start thinking, “Is Pastor Mark going to tell me that Jesus is like Santa, and all I have to do is ask and I’ll get whatever I ask for?” let me say, “No.” I’m not saying that. Jesus is not like Santa. Although the original Santa (a.k.a. Saint Nicholas) was probably trying to be like Jesus.
What I AM saying is that God DOES actually care about the things we ask for. And he does keep track of our needs and desires. And if it helps to think that they’re in a book, then go with it. I can assure you of this: Your heavenly father longs to give you good gifts.
The question for all of us to wrestle with is this: Am I asking God for his good gifts?
You don’t have because you don’t ask. -James 4:2
Put another way, are you asking (praying) for God’s good gifts? (Check out our recent series on “Learning the Language of God,” for help on prayer)
As we anticipate Christmas and the flurry of gifts that accompany it, it would be wise to set aside some time to ask for the gifts that we really long for and need.
- It might be healing from an old wound.
- It might be reconciliation for a broken relationship.
- It might be freedom from the grip of a habit or addiction.
- It might be provision for a new job.
- It might be the peace that transcends all understanding.
- It might be a joy that will not fade in the face of circumstances.
- It might be genuine spiritual friendships that can sustain us from day to day.
What are you putting in God’s big book of requests this year?
Your heavenly father delights in giving. God so loved that he gave.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? –Romans 8:32