And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. (John 9:38)I was mindlessly watching television the other night when a phrase caught my ears. A Christmas-themed commercial urged a young child to "just believe" in Santa Claus, as if belief in him would fulfill something her life lacked. The more I have thought about that since then, I have begun to notice this idea permeates the airwaves.
Now I am not one to down Santa Claus; I have ornaments with his face on them in my own house. But frankly, I never taught my daughter he was real. I remember when she was in first grade, her class took a day trip over to the local mall to sing Christmas carols. With said carols sung, the children were given (supervised) time to roam the mall, shop, and/or take pictures with Santa. My daughter was the only one not interested in sitting on his lap. I mean in my mind, seriously, who was he really?
It's amazing to me how popular it has become to believe in some ethereal, unnamed Christmas idea, yet not in Christ. Slogans urge us to believe in the holidays, believe in family, believe in charity work, but never does one state "Believe in Jesus". No, that seems limited to some alternative sect of people, living on the fringe of society.
Nowadays, everything goes. Whatever god you believe in is supposed to be okay. "They say" we all go to the same place anyhow; all roads lead to Rome. But I have news for you, there is no truth in any of that. It's not okay to believe in whatever god you want; we all don't go to the same place. You can't ever be good enough, work hard enough, or give away everything you own and somehow earn a place in heaven. And while I'm stating absolutes, it's not okay to "just believe" in Santa Claus. (John 14:6;Luke 18:21-23)
Personally, I can sing all the songs from "Rudolph" and can quote each line. It is one of my favorite Christmas stories. Yet that's just it...when it's all said and done, flying reindeer and a man in a red suit is just a fiction story there to make me feel lighthearted and jolly. If I had to pick a story to share with my children at this time of the year, I'd turn instead to Charles Schultz's "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown". In the end, Linus has it right. It is a belief in the living Christ that matters. For unlike Santa, He is real and He changes lives. Belief in Him really does make a difference.
And "that's what Christmas is all about."
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.