To Serve Man

“It was the age of Santa Claus but this Kris Kringle came without rosy cheeks and twinkling eyes.” Flash to the floor of the United Nations in 1960 where famine and the threats of war dominate the debate among the cold war era nation’s representatives. At this point in the TV show “The Twilight Zone” a giant 9 foot alien meekly enters the chamber; book in hand, like a professor to his classroom with an offer of peace and help. Laying the book on the nearby table the towering newcomer declares that he has come with the answers to end famine and the means to prevent and stop all war; just the recipe for making this world perfect! Initially people are wary of this alien until discovering that the title of the book on the table has been deciphered – “To Serve Man”. These aliens must be the most altruistic, caring and selfless beings in the universe! As the people eagerly give their total allegiance to the new residents of earth everything goes splendidly; just as their new friends assured them it would. “These strangers can give us almost anything we want, I wonder what else there is?” becomes an overriding sentiment. Making a commitment to give more the aliens enticed everyone to enter their spaceships to discover even greater wonders and comforts on the home planet.

Not everyone was so struck with the new saviors. One person worked diligently to complete the translation of the book even while others were boarding the ships bound for the promised land of no worries or hardship. As the ship accelerates into the heavens the translator much to their horror finds that the book titled “To Serve Man” is a cookbook!  This book did not have a recipe to make a perfect world but was a guide to making the world a perfect recipe. Now this statement makes a bit more sense “It was the age of Santa Claus but this Kris Kringle came without rosy cheeks and twinkling eyes.”

We are often looking for a Santa Claus that gives us toys and goodies, perpetually jolly and if irritated will only hesitantly threaten us with a lump of coal in our gaudy mantle-place stocking. Scary! The concept of Santa Claus works fulfilling the desires that we self determine are best for us. We obsessively crave then pursue what we wish, grasping at any “Santa Claus” that dangles a shiny desire in front of us. Too late we realize the cause, or thing or relationship that zealously entices us has an unseen hook that snares us to drastically change our lives. How often do we abandon reason and caution to pursue our own wants and desires only to succumb to the law of unintended consequences? We think we have life figured out in our own wise way only to be embarrassed that we are more naïve and not nearly as perceptive as we think we are.

Do you think Jesus was born to this world so He may empathize with your hardships allowing Him to understand how to “fix” them?  Is the gift of Jesus God’s plan to make your life stress and worry free so you’ll gleefully follow Him? Jesus is not Santa Claus! He did not come humbly in a manger to make our lives easy, comfortable or self-serving. In John 1:12 it says Jesus came to give all of those who receive them “the right to become children of God”. Reading further John declares that “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus’ desire is for every one of us to be an intimate part of His family – literally an heir to all He owns. This is why He came to this world. There is a catch, though; He does this on His terms not ours! As any good parent He has the foresight, knowledge and love to want us to not just be comfortable and happy but people full of grace and truth – children with integrity and character. The grace to love others so much we work for their best, to forgive when wronged, giving second chances while holding no grudges. A people holding truth in such high regard that we will suffer hardship, ridicule, slights and isolation to up defend it. And what will Jesus do to help? He will never leave us or forsake us; He disciplines us if we fall short, not for punishment but for our own sake to help us live up to our potential. He knows exactly what we need and works to help us achieve it.

We want a Santa Claus to give us our immediate desires. But it seems we are always wanting more and are never satisfied often to our own detriment. How many of us would have willing bounded into that alien space ship clueless to our final culinary fate?  Thank God He knows we require a savior – a savior that desires to give us what we need, no matter the cost to Him.

For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

Does that sound like Santa Claus to you?

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This daily devotion is written by John Key

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