I was walking through the mall last year about 10 days before Christmas on a break from work when I noticed large groups of people numbering at least 100, lining up outside the stores fronts near the main entrance of the mall. Not knowing what to expect I made my way towards the smallest concentration of people, Was someone hurt? Was someone robbed or what? (During this time of season, one never knows what to expect by way of humanity. Most people i observed during holidays past, do nothing to help someone in need or trouble.)
Having reached my destination, a gentleman in very holiday-esque clothing joyfully exclaimed "Santa is coming." Where do I begin?
A few seconds later I hear a faint, unintelligible sound which becomes clearer as the 40 strong, throng of children get closer.
"We love Santa, we love Santa." Over and over they sing these words while holding signs that echoed the same sentiment. "Incredible" I say. The merry gentleman next to me says "Isn't it!" while filming the parade before us. Stunned would be the appropriate word for my silence.
A man dressed as Santa waved, nodded and smiled the biggest, toothiest grin I had ever seen. It was akin to a king returning from some far off land having won some great conquest, being greeted by his loyal subjects and servants.
Slowly, I backed away. My heart was saddened by everything around me and what my senses were taking in. Immediately, I thought about the words of Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem, during His final days on this earth, mourning for its people and the nearness of life that they have totally missed. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing." Even today those words ring true as the season has lost its meaning to so many. Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas. How much closer does Christ need to be, before the masses realize the nearness of life, is about to pass them by? With His true meaning still lost to them? Looking at my watch I turn and leave behind me this 'scene'. Kids singing "We love Santa", parents basking in the glow of their child participating in the pageant for Santa. Will Santa Claus champion their cause before the Most High God? No, he will not. Why? He does not exist. Jesus Christ however, does exist. He went before God on the world's behalf and died on the cross so that the sins and darkness of our/my past would be washed away. Truly, Jesus is the Ultimate champion. He defeated death, Satan, sin, conquered hell, and is now seated at the right hand of God. Jesus is the One I love and I pray that you love Him too.