Monday, December 5, 2011

Dear Santa

Ask, and it will be given you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

It being that time of year and all, I heard a rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" which reminded me of a scene from the first episode of Doctor Who that featured the Eleventh Doctor. Right after the opening credits, we meet Amelia Pond, the little girl who will grow up to be this Doctor's companion. She is kneeling by her bed, hands pressed together in front of her, eyes closed, saying her prayers. Or is she? "Dear Santa Claus," she starts. She thanks him for some toys, presumably her Christmas presents, and then proceeds to ask him for help with a problem she's having. 

I think I might as well start my prayers with "Dear Santa Claus" sometimes, because it becomes all about me and the wish list of things I want. Don't get me wrong, I think God wants us to ask him for things – that is, after all, what Jesus told everyone in the Sermon on the Mount. That's not the only purpose of prayer, though. It is supposed to be two-way communication, but more often than not I am guilty of making it all about me sitting on God's lap and telling him everything I want for Christmas. 

My wish for this Advent season is that we focus not on our letters to Santa-God but rather on the gift that is more important than anything we'll ever find in our stockings. The hope, peace, joy, and love embodied in the baby in the manger are the best gifts of all.

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