Last Christmas, I set up a wooden Nativity set in my dining room on a short bench, so my young grandchildren could move the pieces around and learn the Christmas story at the same time. One of my granddaughters was four years old at the time, and she loved to change the positions of the figures. Of course, Jesus was always in the middle with Mary and Joseph nearby. The Shepherds and the Wise Men could be on the opposite ends and the animals in the stable somewhere. There were lots of ways to arrange it.

After one of her visits to my house, I looked at the little bench with its wooden Nativity and noticed the peculiar arrangement of the figures. Baby Jesus was in the middle, and all of the other figures were in a circle facing him. “That is the way it should be!” I thought.

Jesus loves little children. Their faith is strong and they love deeply. They trust Jesus and his Father, God. This is how Jesus says that we should be. We should have the faith of a child, who wholly trusts Him with everything.

Instead, we need to be convinced of what we believe. It all has to make sense to us. Not so with a child. If Mommy and Daddy believe there is a God and a Savior, Jesus, then that is true to them. Will you be the kind of parent who will teach your child about Jesus by showing them that you believe He exists and loves you and them?  Will they love Jesus more than Santa?

My oldest son, when he was three, told me that he loved Santa more than Jesus.  I was shocked. “Why is that?” I asked.

“Well, Mommy, they are mostly the same. They love kids. They see you when you are asleep, and they never die. But Santa brings toys and Jesus doesn’t. So I think I love Santa more.”

Well, that was the last time my son believed in Santa. He and I had to have a heart to heart talk about the difference between Santa and Jesus. Some would say that I ruined his Christmas, but I didn’t want him to think when he was older that Jesus was a made up person like Santa. I wanted him to know the truth; that the babe in the manger came to save him from his sins and make a way for him to live forever in heaven.

There are many adults that think Jesus is a fraud. They don’t believe Jesus is any more real than Santa. But I assure you that Jesus was a real man and a real God, born to a virgin, who did miracles that were written about in historical writings of the day. He was crucified, died, and was placed in a tomb. But three days later, he rose from the dead and lives forever at the right hand of his Father in heaven. He is preparing a place for you right now if you will believe in Him.

Each of my three children accepted Christ as a young child. How easy it is for children to believe in Jesus. It seems the older people get; the harder it is to believe. Statistics show that if a person has not trusted Jesus by age 19, it will be very difficult for them to come to faith in Christ. I was 18 when I trusted Him as my Savior. That was 45 years ago, and I have never regretted my decision. I pray that my faith remains like that of a child, and that I show my faith to my children and grandchildren on a regular basis. Christmas was real and Jesus died for all of us who would believe in Him. Merry Christmas!