Where is Your Treasure?

Throughout my early childhood, Christmas was an exciting time that I eagerly awaited each year. Christmas decorations, music, presents, and Santa’s visit gave me butterflies in my stomach and I could barely wait until his arrival. Having a lively imagination, I could almost hear the sleigh bells and his boots boldly walking across our roof. And so on Christmas Eve night, I barely slept…all during the night I would gingerly peek into our living room in hopes that he had left our presents. If indeed he had, I would approach each of my siblings to beg them to get up and survey our goodies, regardless of the fact that it might be 4:00 or 5:00 o’clock in the morning!

By the time my siblings all agreed to get up, I was utterly exhausted. Although my adrenalin enabled me to momentarily tear open gifts and play with toys, I was soon too tired to play and the “magic” faded. Even the sugar rush from the ever-present sweets proved inadequate to sustain my energy.

But before all of this Santa hoopla set in, while we were decorating our modest home for the big day, I developed a very special ritual:

I would vie with my siblings for the privilege of placing the baby Jesus in the manger of the nativity, which was carefully preserved from season to season.

My little heart was torn between my excited preoccupation with Santa and my warm love for Jesus. When I thought of Santa, my heart was uneasy and questioning…would he remember to bring me all the things I desired? Would I somehow feel let down again even if I did get all I had wanted? Would my siblings get better things than me?

However, after I “won” the right to place baby Jesus in the manger—with his mom and dad, animals, and all the others who adored him—I was inexplicably at peace as I laid him in his cradle. I can recall my joy as I gazed at the the nativity…not because the nativity figures before me held any power; but, because the peaceful love that came into my heart was from Jesus Himself.

What greater peace I could have experienced as a child if I had been able to understand and practice Mt. 6: 19-21: laying up heavenly treasures, instead of burdening my heart with earthly desires.

My prayerful hope today is that all of us who know Jesus will anticipate His second coming with exponentially greater excitement and anticipation than I had for Santa. We are to “watch therefore, for we know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh” (Mt. 25:13) so that we can rejoice and hope in that day when our Savior returns.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52, “Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”