This is my Children's Moment for Sunday. I was going to do the Advent wreath only with them, but decided that they needed something they would understand.
Scripture: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
Do you know the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town?" In the song it says, "He's making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town." I can remember when I was a little boy I used to worry about which one of Santa's lists I would be on. Would I be on the "Naughty" list or the "Nice" list? Kids today don't have to wonder about that anymore. With our modern computers, you can go to Santa's web site at www.claus.com and you can find out which list you are on. This week I decided I would go and check it out to see which list I was on this year and this is what I found out.
• MR. K - "Nice!" Matter of fact, one of the nicest years ever! Really helped the family and friends when they needed it. Is always polite. Extremely honest. What's more, adds a good sense of humor to situations, which is always a "nice" touch. Don't go overboard on the sweets though.
While I was there, I decided to check up on a few of the other staff members here at church and find out which list they were on. Maybe I shouldn't have done that, but I did and here is what I found out when I put in the name of: (the names have been changed to protect the guilty.)
• Pastor - Nice, but has been naughty at times. Neatness and politeness have been very good over the last two weeks. Shows proper respect for others. Shares well, but could always be better. With a little more effort could be near top of "nice" list.
• Associate Pastor - Nice, but has been naughty at times. Neatness and politeness have been very good over the last two weeks. Shows proper respect for others. Shares well, but could always be better. With a little more effort could be near top of "nice" list.
• Nursery Coordinator - Nice, with a few naughty marks. Neatness needs improvement. Behavior has been good sometimes, not so good other times. Manners could still use some attention. Was very nice last Monday.
• Youth Minister - "Nice" and getting better all the time! Has shown great improvement with manners and cleaning up his room. A good friend who usually gives good advice. Still has a naughty tendency to leave his socks on the floor
• Youth Intern - Nice, but has room for improvement. Could be better listener. Has a kind heart. Often sets a good example for others. Was very nice last Saturday!! Hopefully, will keep up the good work!
• Church Secretary - Nice, but needs to be good all year, not just around Christmas time. Makes others happy. Could share more, however. Politeness is sometimes very good. Can be great listener.
• Custodian - Overall, niceness outweighs naughtiness. Was good a lot last month! Politeness often good, but has room for improvement. Could help around house more instead of watching so much TV.
You know, I think a lot of people think God is like Santa Claus. They think He sits on his throne up in heaven and looks down to see if we are being naughty or nice and if we do more nice things than naughty things, we get to go to heaven. That isn't the way God works at all! When God looks down at us He sees that ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. None of us deserve to go to heaven because of our own goodness. That is why we celebrate Christmas. God sent His Son, Jesus to be born in a stable and to die on a cross to save us from our sin. If we put our trust in Jesus, then God writes our name in the Book of Life and it can never be erased! That is the real meaning of Christmas!