Santa Claus & hurting children

The Question of a child

There are times a child sitting on Santa’s lap has a question about the reindeer, the elves, or Mrs. Claus. The questions are simply honest searches for knowledge as a child envisions the North Pole. They just want to know how it all works.  Simple answers will usually suffice the child’s imagination, but at times you get a question needing compassion and comfort.

One such child wanted Saint Nicholas to bring peace within her troubled home.  Looking deeply into this waif’s eyes I sensed a deeper issue.  I desired peace within my childhood home and related to her wishes.  The first thing I could do was hold her close to Santa’s chest and provide her a safe place.

The sincerity of her question seen in the moisture-filled eyes truthfully was not within my powers to answer her request.  The best answer I could give her was as a child she could model peace to the people in the room. Even Jesus used a child as a sermon illustration to a crowd of adults.

The Father and his child

In the Bible, the imagine of the Father and his children is a reminder of his desired relationship with believers. In the Old Testament, a person seeking to be a rabbi finds a teacher and ask to follow him. Teaching is done as an oral tradition.  Over and over the teacher instructs his disciple until he felt the student was ready.  He sends him into the world to instruct others in the same manner.

A rabbi in the book of Acts was Gamaliel the Elder, a doctor of the Law held in high regard by all Jews.  He spoke about not condemning the apostles of Jesus and was the teacher of Paul the Apostle. (Acts 5:34) It was Paul believing he was doing God’s work, persecuted Christians until he met Jesus on the Damascus road.

The Jews of the Old Testament said God is the Father of the Jewish people. The prophet Isaiah records in Isaiah 64:8 “O LORD, thou art our father.” It was Jesus teaching his disciples of a real and personal heavenly Father and his desire to have a relationship with us.

God instructs his child

God first brings the answer to the question of our lives–is there anything else? We struggle with status, wealth, health, and life in general. Malcolm Forbes said the one who dies with the most toys wins. But, what was lowered into the ground at this death measured the same size and the casket of a poor man.  Our Father gives salvation and then teaches us by his loving kindness how to make the best of this life.

God uses two kinds of people in our lives to be examples of self-controlled and godly lives. First, the person whose life with God is marked by trials overcome by faith. They learned to trust God one step at a time.  These living bibles model the life we are to live. The others are the negative example of the godly life.  We have an opportunity to compare and contrast the two and hopefully make the correct choice.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say ‘NO’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ,” Titus 2:11-13


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