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I wonder just how often I treat God as though He were Santa Claus instead of the Maker of the Universe. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the jolly old man in the red suit.


Umm, pardon me? What was that? Santa Claus?

I wonder just how often I treat God as though He were Santa Claus instead of the Maker of the Universe. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the jolly old man in the red suit. I’m a big fan actually, and long may his magical spirit live, but let’s not confuse the EVERLASTING FATHER with Father Christmas.

It seems to this observer that too many of the “God-fearing” folks in our nation fall into this habit of expecting God to be Santa, and I admit I’m sometimes one of them.

We Americans are big on rights and liberties and the freedom to do as we please with our lives, thank you very much! We don’t really want a Sovereign Lord who claims His authority and expects certain things of us. We prefer a plump grandfather whose only stipulation is that we are not naughty but nice. Or worse, we want a sort of vending-machine Being who will spit out the expected treat once we have punched the buttons. We have dreams and desires and wants and plans, and God better have the good sense to go along with our plans! God is there to fulfill my dreams for my life and to serve me! Oh….wait a minute. That’s not right is it? Hmmm…oh yes, now I remember – I’m supposed to serve Him.

Those names, KING of KINGS, LORD of LORDS, RIGHTEOUS JUDGE…they clearly tell us that God is the one in charge. He sits on the highest throne, and no one can vote Him out of office or kick Him off the island! I owe Him all that I have and all that I am every single day of my life. And WISDOM knows that my heart needs to praise Him, and my soul needs to be owned by Him. Yet I foolishly resist His authority and deny His Kingship more often than I’m willing to admit.

How silly of me! How stupid of me, actually! (Why do I forget that my life is in His hands whether I acknowledge it or not?) This is no ordinary Sovereign. He does not ask me to do anything more than what He has already done, which is to love…to serve…to forgive…to proclaim…to testify to the truth. He knows intimately well what frail stuff I am made of and promises to supply me with His own strength so that I can carry out the task required of me. This KING truly deserves my perfect allegiance because He perfectly loves me.

To subject myself to His rule is to satisfy my soul forever.

If we are reluctant to call Him LORD, if we are afraid to bow our hearts before Him, could it be because we have forgotten, or perhaps never rightfully understood in the first place, who He is?

He is no tyrant. No egomaniacal, power-hungry, cold-hearted ruler bent on our oppression.

No – His other names are GOOD SHEPHERD, LAMB of GOD, MORNING STAR, PRINCE of PEACE, WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR. EMMANUEL. He is the King who elected to lay His glory down in order to save His people. It’s “The Prince and the Pauper” on a sublime scale, for our Prince willingly took our place, took our punishment and gave us our freedom…all out of love for us. The reason we now rightfully owe Him everything is that He bought us back with His own blood!

Our ransom was too steep for us…impossible for us to pay. But we are beloved to Him, so the price must be paid! And it began that holy night in Bethlehem when the ALPHA and OMEGA stepped into time as a child and unveiled our redemption. We, His precious children, have been rescued from ourselves by the LIGHT of the WORLD. He deserves our faithful obedience and ceaseless praise!

Glory to the Newborn KING!


Jennifer Hartline is a Catholic Army wife and stay-at-home mother of three precious kids who writes frequently on topics of Catholic faith and daily living. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



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1 - 8 of 8 Comments

  1. Michael
    6 years ago

    I'm not trying to get anyone going or stoke any fires or anything. I'm genuinely curious. What I'd like to know, since I've been faced with this situation numerous times, is how would one handle talking with a member of another religion, who contests that our "rules and regulations" only apply in the event that we're "right." One specific example is a friend of mine saying,quite matter-of-factly, that a member of one faith cannot use their "teachings" to judge a member of another religion, because the differing religions are like sports, and trying to use the Bible to judge a pagan or the Koran to judge a Christian is akin to using a baseball rulebook to call plays at a hockey game.

  2. Tyler Graham
    6 years ago

    Good point.
    But wouldn't it be even more appropriate to call God our "Creator" rather than "Maker"? To create is to bring to being "ex nihilo," while making is to use "stuff" that's already there. Humans make, but only God creates. And, yes, He created the everlasting soul of St. Nicholas . . .

  3. Carol Wikaryasz
    6 years ago

    Dear Jennifer,
    Working with Aunt Jane these many years I feel like I know you. How proud she and we are of your beautiful articles. I see a book coming??? God Bless you, your husband and your three beautiful children whose pictures adorn Aunt Janes bulliten board. Carol Wikarysz

  4. J
    6 years ago

    Cool article. Very good job Jennie!

  5. Peggy
    6 years ago

    Wow - you have said it perfectly. So many people are looking for the EASY button - we forget what it is all about. Thank you! and Thank your husband for his service!

  6. Olivia
    6 years ago

    Your right. I like your articles. I am a kid and I could understand them. Anyway, I do get them mixed up. I also sometimes don't remember who Santa Claus really is and what the the true story is. He is Saint Nick. And remember, Christmas should be about God coming into this world as man, not all presents and Father Christmas!

  7. Chris
    6 years ago

    Jennifer, you are SO right.
    Great stuff - reminds me of White Christmas, the part where Bing Crosbie sings 'counting my blessing'.
    Though He is my sovereign Lord, He has bestowed so many blessings in my life.
    Thanks; I enjoyed your article.

  8. Jane Neussendorfer
    6 years ago

    You are doing so well with your writings, Jennie. So down to earth in language that everyone can understand. Keep them coming. Love you much, Aunt Jane

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