One of the greatest Christmas carols of all time, in my opinion, is "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." I love the rich theological truths it contains: "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the incarnate deity. Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel."

Now, compare that to another song the world loves to sing this time of year: "He's making a list, checking it twice, going to find out who's naughty or nice. Santa Claus is coming to town. He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness' sake."

Does that sound a little threatening to you? Of course it does. It was designed to scare children into being good. Now, history tells us that there was a pastor named Nicholas who inspired the whole idea of Santa—but he was nothing like what this song conveys. And with all respect to the jolly fat guy, Santa Claus isn't Jesus.

Jesus doesn't just come around once a year. He's with you every day, all year long. And He gives you gifts based not on your performance, but on His performance. He extends mercy and grace even when you don't deserve it. You can always trust His promises, and you can trust that because He came the first time at Christmas, He is coming again.

How I love our Jesus, and how I love celebrating Him this time of year. I hope you take a few minutes (or more) out of your day to reflect and thank the Lord that Jesus stepped out of heaven into time and space to rescue you and me, becoming Immanuel—God with us.

I pray you and your loved ones have a blessed Christmas.

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