Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Past

Today is the Christian holiday Epiphany. It commemorates the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi. It is the "twelvth day of Christmas" and many people have waited until today to take down their Christmas decorations.

I wonder way some Santa movies move me so. I think it is not about being rewarded for being good. It's more about grace and being remembered and not being forgotten. In the New Testament Book of Revelation there is a church where the faithful ones receive a white stone with a name on it that no one knows except the one gives it and the who receives it. It is a moment that says everything to a believer who has held to Jesus through life. He or she will not miss being on God's list. The gift is fitting and unique, crafted just for that person.

For me, Santa is not a source for selfish dreams to come true. Rather, Santa is a symbol of the covenantal God who sees me when I'm sleeping and remembers me. To be remembered says, "You have belonged all along." I know my flaw and sins well (i.e. my naughtiness). The best Santa movies show him not only as a rewarder, but also as Redeemer.

(If you'd enjoy another reflection on Santa, check out my latest posting on my blog "Story Matters." It ran in the Greenfield Daily Reporter on December 17th.)

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