I had the chance to minister in the Aishin Junior College chapel service on December 6. What a thrill it was for me ⎯ and for the students who gathered for the last chapel service just before final exams. I do the English chapel service twice a month (bilingually).
The message for that day was given to me by the Holy Spirit as I was on my way out the door to head for the school. Almost like a flash of light, He spoke to my heart perhaps the shortest message I have ever preached. Are you ready?
Q 1: How many of you believe in Santa? Even though you may have never seen him, when you were a child you probably believed in him. He brought you a present at Christmas, because you were special.
(Read) John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Q2: How many of you believe in Jesus Christ? Even though you have never seen Him, He brought you a present, because He loves you.”
I believe in Jesus Christ! AND I believe in Santa!
Then all of a sudden, Santa busts through the chapel room door hollering, “HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Froehliche Weinachten! Kurisumasu Omedetō!”
The place went ballistic with clapping and laughing. Practically all of the students pulled out their cell phone cameras and began taking pictures of the fat, jolly ol’ Santa.
If you look real closely, you might be able to see beyond the beard and eyebrow makeup and discover who this guy really is. The students knew immediately who he was. Santa then went to the front of the chapel, opened his bag of presents and began handing out to each student a card. While doing so, he told each student (about 80 of them), “God loves you!” The card said, “I love you.” It’s a unique little card that was created by Nils and a Japanese artist-calligrapher. Written on the card is the Japanese character for “love.” The character for love is pronounced in Japanese as “I”. Under that is the English “Love you.”
The Vice President of the Junior College, Tamo Masuda, then sat on Santa’s lap and confessed he had been good all year. Did you know Santa only gives presents to those who have been good? That’s right. Santa would never think of giving a present to a bad boy or girl.
BUT, BUT, BUT . . . listen to this: Jesus gives His present of eternal life to even those who have been really, really, really bad! “For the wages of sin (being bad) is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
If you haven’t already, why not get up on Jesus’ lap and tell Him what you really want for Christmas: an end to all the sin in your life and the peace that passes the understanding of men’s minds! You’ll be surprised what other wonderful gifts He’ll give you for putting your trust in Him.
Professor Masuda told me later that it might have been the very first time some of the exchange students from China had ever seen Santa, let alone sat on his lap. You can see the wonder in this girl’s face as she looks into Santa’s eyes. When this Santa visited the school that day, Jesus did, too, and told each student they were loved.
Christmas is a very special time of year. As you gather with family and friends, try to remember what Jesus said:
“This do in remembrance of me.”