Father, Forgive Them . . .

I’ve been watching movies today while I iron shirts and blouses. As I sat up the board and poured water into my iron, I caught the last few minutes of a Christmas movie – I don’t recall the name. It was a familiar theme: a court room, a youngster on the witness stand, a kindly judge, a heartless lawyer and a benevolent lawyer proving to the courtroom and to us the viewing audience that Santa Claus is the heart of Christmas. He is the hero of the season; he is someone for children to believe in; someone to remind us and inspire us all to remember that Christmas is about love, forgiveness and family.  And I thought how clever! Wonder whose idea it was to take a fictitious character give him supernatural powers to know what gift every boy and girl on planet earth wants, to know which child has been good and which child has not but then what does it matter because all children get gifts from Santa on Christmas; but that’s not all Santa delivers these gifts to every house in the world in one night with the help of 8 reindeer who can fly! Wow! How fantastic is that?!

How much better would it have been just to have told the truth to the children? That the REAL GOD sent His only Son into the world as a human baby who grew from infant to man. He really and truly has supernatural powers. He healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, gave sight to the blind, even raised the dead; did the right thing even when humans did the wrong thing to Him. He laughed, He cried, He learned to walk and talk, read and write, played with friends, loved His Mother, His foster-father, His brothers and sisters, and that barely even begins to tell how He  demonstrated to the world that He loves us, that He desires for us to be His family, that He Himself came to enable us to love, forgive others, do good for one another and be a family.  And then added to all that He died our substitutionary eternal death and after three days arose from the dead, never to die again and made the way for us to live eternally and today He is STILL healing and still bringing the dead to life – that beats Santa Claus hands down, if you ask me!

But GOD just wasn’t good enough, was He? He just was not quite Christmas-y enough was He? He just didn’t give us the warm fuzzies, did He? He just wasn’t reason enough for the children to dash off to bed with so much excitement they could hardly sleep waiting to see what wonderful gifts they would be getting in the morning, was He?

Can you imagine the bewilderment of the angels who gave the GOOD NEWS to the Shepherds as they hear us tell our little white lies to the children? Can you imagine their faces as they watch the madness of the Season: Black Friday shoppers storming the door of a Wal-Mart leaving one man dead this year as they trampled him under the door; businesses vying  for every Christmas buying dollar yet refusing to acknowledge that JESUS even came? What else? What other ‘Christmas’ goings on are you privy to that have nothing to do with JESUS? How do the angels feel about that? How does JESUS feel about that?  Perhaps He is saying, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’

This I know: I am forever grateful that He has said, ‘Father, forgive her.’ I too have had some Christmas celebrations that gave little remembrance and not much resemblance to JESUS.  I pray to learn better.

Holy Christmas my friends,