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By Jennifer Hartline

12/11/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (

12/11/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith


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 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.


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