Ever since we’ve had kids, we’ve had their picture taken with Santa. For some, it’s nonsense. Some even consider it paganism and blasphemy. Not Santa! Don’t you know the letters in Santa mixed up spell Satan? While we wouldn’t go that far, we also know the true meaning of Christmas is Jesus and teach it foremost to our kids. They aren’t confused and will tell you the true reason for the season, just ask them. Call us pagans if you must, we just enjoy a good nostalgic picture with jolly old St. Nick. This year, the picture with Santa was different…well, distanced. With all the corona virus precautions, the Santa at the Bass Pro Shop this year was 6 feet away and behind a Plexiglas wall. How lonely Santa looked this year! Perhaps it was best, but it just didn’t feel like the times before, you know when you placed your kid on Santa’s knee and they screamed, cried, and you went home with a souvenir picture and a good laugh.
I’m glad nothing can distance Jesus from us. Of course, we can put up lots of walls and place more than physical distance between ourselves and Jesus, but He never leaves us. Romans 8:38-39 mention a myriad of things that can never separate us from the love of God. He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). No matter how bad it gets, Jesus is always near. Acts 17:27 says, “He is not far from each one of us”. Santa was still sitting in the same seat he had the years before. It was us who were far away and separated from him. He still looked the same as all the years before as well. Now to reality, Jesus is still where He has been all the years before – seated at the right hand of God praying for you and me (Hebrews 7:25). He hasn’t changed. He also brought down the dividing wall between us (Ephesians 2:14). If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). In a Christmas where you may not be able to sit on Santa’s knee, you can always sit at Jesus’ feet.
Questions: Are you distanced from Jesus this Christmas? What barrier is between you and Jesus? The solution to sin that separates us from God is repentance to Him and receiving forgiveness from Him.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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