Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Away In A Manger"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 1:21 – And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. (KJV)
Before I met Jesus, the giver of all good and perfect gifts, I knew of Santa Claus.
The smell of warm oatmeal cookies filled the air to trigger my first and only memory of leaving cookies on a little dish for Santa Claus. I was anxious to see if Santa could make it down the chimney to leave presents and get the cookies early the next morning. I found faint smudges of dark sooty footprints from the fireplace to the kitchen, where a few crumbs remained. My dad grinned mischievously. I gleefully squealed, "Santa came."
After Christmas breakfast, I opened a gift to find A Little Golden Book, The Story of Jesus. Curious to know who Jesus was, I asked my mother if the people on the cover were real. She answered, "Yes." Then, I spent the rest of the morning trying to get through the plastic-wrapped book cover to the live baby Jesus Who was wrapped tightly in blankets. There was just something about that tiny Jesus — baby boy — that this little girl of five wanted to know.
Family members joined us in the afternoon. Throughout the day, different ones read me the book. I asked my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins if they knew Jesus. They all said that they did, and that Jesus loved them, and that He loved me, too.
Daddy said the blessing before our dinner and thanked Him for loving the world so much that He saved us from our sins. After dessert, we gathered around the piano. My aunt played Christmas carols while we sang "Away in a manger" and "O little town of Bethlehem". I knew that Jesus must be very important because we sang songs about Him.
Finally, Grandma said, "Just believe in your heart." So, I did. At the end of the day, I could say, "Jesus came."
Eventually, I learned that the tiny Jesus — baby boy — fully God and fully man — was my Lord and Saviour and that He alone can save me and others from our sins of disobedience and offer us eternity in heaven.
Through the years, as my relationship with God, my heavenly Father, grew, I understood that He is the giver of all good gifts. The more that I learned about Jesus, the more that I left Santa and his sleigh behind.
Have you left Santa behind, yet?
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us never to lose the childlike wonder of the glory of that first Christmas miracle, when Your Son, our God and Saviour, was born to die for the sins of the world. We thank You for coming to earth as a baby so that we could meet our Saviour, Who showed and shared Your love and power with us. We will praise Your name forever, for You alone are worthy of all honour and praise. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.