Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Santa Claus, Jesus and Being Shy

Funny name for a blog post but sometimes things just hit me different than everybody else.  Here is a perfect example.

Sunday our pastor preached an awesome sermon on Hebrews 4:14 -16 and 5:1-4. 

Here is the scripture, check it out:

4:14 Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptation, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God's gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].

5:1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed [to act] on behalf of men in things relating to God, so that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with the spiritually ignorant and misguided, since he is also subject to human weakness; 3 and because of this [human weakness] he is required to offer sacrifices for sins, for himself as well as for the people. 4 And besides, one does not appropriate for himself the honor [of being high priest], but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
                                                                                                        from the Amplified Bible

Okay, so the point that our Pastor made was that we should, and have every right, to approach Jesus with great confidence! He even gave a great impression of George Jefferson's confident strut. 

It was a great visual!  

Friends, that IS exactly how we should approach Jesus. 

So here is where my twisted part comes in... 

The whole time that he is telling us how we should be so confident in how we approach Jesus I am remembering how I would approach Santa Claus when I was a kid.  Maybe it was because we are just coming out of the Christmas season and possibly it was because I spent 12 hours on Saturday packing Christmas away.  Anyway, I was probably about 6 or 7 and so painfully shy and timid that I would stand in line and anxiously wait, but when it was finally my turn I would have to be coaxed and encouraged to step forward, knowing that if I didn't I wouldn't be able to tell him what I wanted.  I wouldn't get the Santa hug and it would be a whole year before I would have a chance again.  And yet, I was still too awestruck to move. 

Meanwhile, the kid behind me couldn't wait! He ran right around me and took a running leap into Santa's lap. Laughing and giggling and talking with Santa like they were old friends. I was mortified and even a little jealous.  He got the opportunity and the Santa hug.  Even at that young age, I fully understood embarrassment and hurt pride. Why was I such a baby?! 

Friends this is the problem with the "Santa Claus" Jesus. 
Pray to him when you want something. 
Pray to him when you feel good about where you are. 
Once I get my act together, then I'll go to church.
Everything is good now and my ducks are in a row, so I can approach Him. 

That's not how it works. 
We don't have to wait in line for our forgiveness.
We don't have to worry that the mercy or grace will ever run out.
We don't have to worry that we will miss our opportunity!

I am so grateful that we have the perfect High Priest that we can run to. He understands us and loves us before we even realize how much we need His love.

 Draw near to Him!


Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Wise and great counsel to be sure.

Though every Sunday part of our service we say "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the Word and my soul shall be healed." So there is quite a bit of humility in that as well. I think if we approach Jesus in awestruck Adoration and Thanksgiving - but terrifically confident that we are doing so to please God in every way by doing so - then we truly do win.

This is a thought-provoking and wonderful post, thank you very much.

Hope your new year is filled with many blessings. : - )

Ricki Treleaven said...

Love this post and your new Journaling Bible! I enjoyed this post so much because our church services were cancelled last Sunday due to the ice storm. Today I'm in shorts and a t-shirt because it's in the seventies!!!

I love the fact that the high priest was never allowed to sit down, yet our high priest in Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God because his work is done! Your discussion of the Santa Claus Jesus is spot-on. Great post. Thanks, Liz!