About Santa and the Father

4123836038_0d5c9ffd4a_mThere he sat, clothed in a red, fur-trimmed suit, a white cottony beard almost covering his face. A five-year-old girl waited expectantly on his knee while two older brothers stood at his side waiting.

Santa and the children were obviously posing for the camera. The children’s father was a serviceman on duty somewhere in the Middle East and their mother wanted to send him seasonal photos, brightening the children’s Christmas at the same time by this visit.

Suddenly, from behind Santa, a man’s head rose into view. The little girl saw him first and slid from Santa’s knees to be enfolded in a flash by the man’s arms, her arms wrapped tightly around his neck. It was her Daddy. The two boys joined in the unexpected reunion with the same energy.

In that moment, Santa was still there but he receded from our attention. Gifts the children may have planned to ask for were forgotten. Their father’s completely unexpected presence was a gift that would shrink to insignificance all other gifts.

As I pondered this heart-warming scene, I remembered that the celebration of Christmas has many family-renewing features – a visit to grandma’s house, outdoor fun with cousins in the brisk winter air, gifts piled under the Christmas tree, and especially the gift exchange when grandkids’ eyes sparkle with excitement. But for children, it’s always best if in addition to everyone else, a caring father is there.

And Christmas releases its greatest joy when in the midst of all the celebrations, we are clear about what’s behind the event. God the Father is the giver at unspeakable cost. His gift is his priceless Son, the Lord Jesus. The Mighty Spirit of God is the enabler of it all. The triune God is fully involved in the coming of the baby, Jesus.

Watching that serviceman father reveal his unexpected presence to children made me think of the wonder of Christmas. Christ came out of the heart of the Father. When the Father revealed himself in Christ, this mattered more than any other gift could matter.

Here’s a compressed statement of what Christmas, at its core, is really all about. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16, 17).

Christmas greetings from our house to your house. May God the Father and His gift to each of us, Jesus our Lord, whose conception was enabled by the Holy Spirit be central to all our Christmas celebrations this season!

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Photo credit: LadyDragonflyCC (via flickr.com)


3 thoughts on “About Santa and the Father

  1. To these three children,the sudden appearance of Daddy,who they thought was still on duty in some dangerous middle eastern theatre of war,was the greatest Christmas gift of all.What a heartwarming Christmas scene.

    How can material gifts compare to this happy reunion. It must have been a wonderful sight.

    Like Thanksgiving,Christmas is a special family time,full of memories of family Christmases gone by.

    Just as Good Friday is the day Jesus gave His life to save us,so Christmas is the day God gave His Son to save us.The path to Golgotha is set in motion.

    God’s precious gift to us,His Son,was born to save us from death and sin .The greatest gift of all.It had to be.Only one as immaculately pure as God could die for our sin.But God doesn’t die,like humans.Only incarnate God , fully God and fully human,God’s Son made flesh would suffice.God made His sacrifice.Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

    Later,probably a year later,the three Magi bring more gifts .To the infant Jesus.These gifts ,like the star the magi followed ,are signs.They signify kingship ( gold) ,a priestly mission ( incense) and both a healing ministry and the ultimate healing of sin and death through self sacrifice ( myrhh).

    There can never be a greater gift than this first Christmas gift,a gidt that stretches from the manger in Bethlehem to the Passion on Golgotha to God’s promised Kingdom.

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