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When Santa learned the gospel

CHRISTMAS  |  Simon Camilleri

Saturday 19 December 2015Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 12.15.26 pm

 

When Santa learned the gospel, he first heard it from an elf.

This tiny Santa’s helper had just learnt of it himself.

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A child had asked for Christmas to receive a Bible book.

This elf had made one in the shop, then paused to have a look.

*

He read all about Jesus and the call to follow him.

He learned how Jesus lived and taught and died to pay for sin.

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He learned how Jesus rose again and how he will return

And then this elf read how he should respond to all he’d learned.

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He shut the book, put down his tools, then closed his eyes and prayed.

Right there and then this little elf trusted in Christ that day.

*

The next day he told Santa. It was awkward, unprepared.

He knew he didn’t know that much, but what he knew he shared.

*

He told Santa the gospel. It was simple. It was short.

But a seed was sown in Santa’s heart, which grew into a thought.

*

Santa reflected on his life and the message he supported,

Then compared it to the gospel that the elf had just reported.

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He’d always thought that everyone was naughty or was nice.

He had them all on two big lists. He even checked it twice.

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He’d always thought that you got gifts only if you’d been good.

The naughty kids got lumps of coal. That’s what he understood.

*

They’d all line up in shopping malls and sit upon his knee

And claim that they were always nice. As nice as nice can be.

*

Of course, he saw them when they slept and knew when they awoke.

He also knew their nice attempts were pretty much a joke.

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Their heads were filled not with nice thoughts of kindness, peace and joy,

But with the never-ending list of their desired toys.

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He knew their hearts, but he had thought, “They’re trying to be good.

That’s good enough to make the list. Otherwise no one would!”

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So every year their “good enough” with toys would be rewarded.

And every year (he realised) this message he supported:

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THE “GOOD” WILL GET THE PRESENTS.

THE “BAD” WILL GET THE COAL.

AND TRYING TO BE GOOD ENOUGH

IS GOOD ENOUGH A GOAL.

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That was the message that he knew, but now he knew another.

He had just heard the gospel. So he compared them to each other.

*

The message of the gospel turned his message upside down.

The good, the bad, naughty and nice, it switched it all around.

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“There’s no one good but God alone” he’d heard Jesus concluded.

And those who claim they’re “good enough” are simply just deluded.

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If there’s a list of who is “good”, the standard we’ve all missed.

And Santa saw that even he was on the naughty list.

*

That shook his world. That rocked his boat. That gripped him in his soul.

To think that even Santa Claus deserved a lump of coal.

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But that was only half of what the gospel message said.

It also flipped what happened to the naughty on its head.

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Instead of being written off as just not good enough.

The message to the naughty list was one of grace and love.

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The gospel offered mercy to all those deserving coal.

The gospel offered forgiveness and cleansing of your soul.

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The gospel told how Jesus died our death to pay the price

To reconcile us all to God – both naughty and the nice.

*

This offer was a real gift, unlike presents ‘neath the tree.

It was not earned by being good. It was offered for free.

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For all his life Santa had claimed that if you had been bad

Then you would not get presents and your Christmas would be sad.

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Santa compared his message with this new one he had learned.

His message said you get the presents your good deeds had earned.

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The message of the gospel offered something so much greater…

Jesus had come to reconcile the world to their Creator.

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When Santa grasped the gospel, he did not know what to do

And so the elf said nervously, “How ’bout I pray with you?”

*

Then that night at the North Pole, by the fire in his den,

With a simple prayer led by an elf, Santa was born again.

*

And now, in Christ, forgiven, free – his new life had begun

and Santa had a new message to share with everyone.

 

Originally posted on Simon Camilleri’s blog site, ‘Simon Says’. Republished with permission.

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