Driving to school to pick Jocelyn up, the radio is playing Christmas music and I hear the friendly reminder …
You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
He’s making a list and checking it twice
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is comin’ to town.
(from Santa Claus is Coming to Town as sung by The Jackson 5)
I drive wondering how many times children are warned to behave or Santa won’t be bringing gifts this year. Our children grew up without believing in Santa, or the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy. My thoughts begin to wander as I continue on my way.
We wait all month for Christmas morning to come. The anticipation and excitement building up with the passing of the days. The waiting reminds me of Christ’s birth. The nearing of His birthday reminds me of my great need for a Savior each and every day.
The parental warnings to behave, be nice, share, and be considerate presents challenges to children. But today I am reminded of the challenge it presents to me each day. Apart from Jesus, I can be none of these things. It is only He who is nice in me:
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT)
This time of waiting reminds me how utterly frail and broken I truly am. I need His help each day and must live dependent on His enabling to produce anything good in my life. Some days, it is more than a challenge – it is a struggle. The fight increases within me to not become like the world as it would be so easy to give in, to live “tit for tat”.
But this babe in a manger, who gave up everything to come to this earth, makes it possible for me to live like Him.
“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, NLT)
He came in a manger to then live IN me so that I could live IN Him.
He came the first time to keep me holy until He comes again.