I remember last year when the Pastor was had all of the young children come to the front of the church for the reading of the story depicted the birth of Jesus. Children are hard to coral and you never know for sure what they are going to say. During the story one of the kids declared to the Pastor that You are Not Santa. I am not quite sure what the parents explained to the kids as to what was going to happen the last church service before Christmas, but there it was blurted before everyone in attendance that the Pastor was not Santa.
Of course, the story of the birth of Jesus had nothing to do with the Santa but the church has to address the reality of one and the tradition of the other. I thought the Pastor fielded the assertions with grace and humility. That lead me to wonder, if I were to give a choice to people that knew me best, would say I was more like Santa or Jesus? What would they say? That of course takes away all of the more negative options. For the sake of argument the only two choices were like Santa or like Jesus. What is our subconscious defaulting to.
I came to the conclusion that the relationship with Santa was very one sided. It was all cause in effect. If someone was good or was pleasant to me, then I would bestow the gift of being generous with my time, resources and talents. However, if someone was quick to judge me, dismissive of me or flat out offensive, would I treat them to the “lump of coal”? Which is the darkest form of matter that I can think of.
If I unpack that a little more, I would see that my actions were always a reaction to a circumstance that would directly benefit me or I would go dark. Do I give gifts to those I do not know? Do I withhold gifts from those without merit? The answer is yes.
That would not only mean that I fall well short of any comparison at all to the “Living Lord”. In this example, I could be mistaken as a follower of the world aside from my profession otherwise. Based on eyewitnesses of my actual actions I might failed to convince others that I am indeed different. Then my ways are still transformed by the world. Ouch.
Now I think of the comparison to Santa Claus and think how many kids would say, I know Santa Clause and you Mr. Dan are no Santa Claus. Meaning I fall short of lesser of two choices in this season the light entering into the darkness.
So, with Christmas passing by yesterday, can I transform my ways and renew my mind. To this I say yes. Looking with hope to 2016.