Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s checking his list. Twice. He wants to make sure he gets the right people on the right lists. Naughty? Nice? A stocking stuffed with goodies, or coal for you this year? Come on, really, have you ever gotten coal?
Santa Claus is such a secular humanist. There, I said it. He has a belief that people are inherently capable of being nice. He actually thinks that people can be good. And, by that he means people can be good on their own apart from some other being imparting goodness to them.
Paul thinks differently, that’s why he’s got “Goodness” as a fruit of the Spirit. In other words, Goodness doesn’t happen apart from God as the source. You and I are inherently not-good. We’re born into it, and we can’t get out of doing bad on our own. We need a savior. We need someone to show us what Goodness is, and we need someone to fill us with Goodness or it’s just not going to happen for us.
Isaiah said the same thing. Our righteous acts are like filthy rags to God. The BEST we have to offer is dirt compared to the Goodness of God. Coal for ALL of us! Coal for you. Coal for me. Coal for everybody under the tree. That’s what we can get ourselves apart from God. God, however, can turn things around because of the birth of Jesus. Goodness took on human flesh so that Goodness can fill human lives once again.
Santa Claus is coming to town, and he’s checking his list. There’s a little star next to your name, and when he checks the asterisk at the bottom of the page it says, “Jesus’ kid.” And, with a belly laugh and a jingle of his sleigh reins he drops into your chimney to leave a stocking full of goodies for you.
Dear Heavenly Father, apart from you life is bad. With Jesus life is Good. Fill us with His goodness this year and always. Amen.