*Author’s Note: I know some of my readers do not take their children to visit Santa and I 100% respect that. We decided to include the “game of Santa” in our family Christmas traditions based solely on our own childhood experiences. Whether you visit Santa or not the lesson on grace could still be taught.*
Last week I took the boys to our local mall to see Santa. This sweet man has played Santa for many, many years. He is a talented story-teller. Each day begins with him telling 20 minutes of Christmas stories…captivating children that are usually only gripped by television.
Given the popularity of this seasoned Santa, they hand out numbers to see him and you come back for your specified time. After visiting the library (yes there is one in the mall!), having lunch, watching the fountain, meeting two brothers from Korea, and laughing at an improv Scrooge puppet show, it was finally our turn to go see Santa.
We only had to wait in a short line to go see him, but during that time Santa took a little break. So we waited an extra 15 minutes. Understandably, the boys were starting to get antsy…arguing, pushing. I reminded them that according to the “Santa game”, you only get presents if you’re good. If there is anytime to be “good”, it’s when you are in Santa’s immediate presence.
While we waited I prepped them for their visit. I told them that Santa will probably ask them their name, what they want and whether they have been good that year.
The boys did great. They each introduced themselves. They told Santa they each wanted Legos. Then came the big question, “Have you been good this year? Are you getting along with your brothers and being kind?” They nodded ‘yes’ but their faces revealed that perhaps it wasn’t 100% true.
Once settled in our car and driving home, my oldest son said, “Mommy, you were right! Santa did ask us if we had been good.”
I took advantage of the opportunity…
“Mmm hmm. In the ‘Santa game’ you have to be ‘good’ to get a present. But did you know that God gave you the greatest gift, His Son Jesus, not because you were good? Did you know that He actually gave us Jesus because we were so bad? It was because we were NOT GOOD that we were given a gift from God.”
Grace sinking in…for each of us.
An angel told Joseph, ‘He will save his people from their sins.’
An angel told the shepherds, ‘A Savior has been born to you.’
Zechariah prophesied that Jesus would bring His people ‘salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.’
Simeon held the baby Jesus and thanked God, saying ‘My eyes have seen your salvation.’
And John the Baptist, the messenger of the Messiah, cried out when he saw Jesus coming to him, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’
~The Handel’s Messiah Family Advent Reader
by D. Payne & F. Lenzo
May you experience His grace today. May you feel His undeserved favor. May you not feel the pressure to perform but to rest in the greatest gift ever given…eternal life.
Linking up with: Thought Provoking Thursdays