Jeremiah 23:5

5 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Strange Visitor

Author: Anonymous

Just last Monday I had a strange visitor. This is how it happened:
I had just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door of the front room, and to my surprise, Santa Claus himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree.

He placed his finger over his lips so I wouldn’t cry out. “What are you doing…” I started to ask, but the words choked up in my throat as I saw that he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know.

He then answered me with the simple statement of ‘Teach the children.” I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement, he brought a miniature toy bag from behind the tree.
As I stood there in my nightgown, bewildered… Santa said again,
“Teach the children.’ My perplexed expression must have shown in the near darkness.

“Teach them the old meaning of Christmas…the meanings that Christmas now-a-days has forgotten.’

I started to say, “How can I…’ when Santa reached into the toy bag and brought forth a brilliant SHINY STAR.

“Teach the children, the star was the heavenly sign of promise ages ago. God promised a Savior for the world and a sign of the fulfillment of that promise was the great star of the East.

The star reminds us of God’s love of mankind and of God fulfilling His promise. The countless shining stars at night — now show the burning hope of all mankind.’

Santa gently laid the star upon the fireplace mantle and drew forth from the bag a glittering red CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT.

‘Teach the children, red is the first color of Christmas. It was used by the faithful people to remind them of the blood which was shed for all people by the Savior. Christ gave His lire and shed His blood that every man might have God’s gift to all…eternal life. Red is deep, intense, vivid, it is the greatest color of all. It is the symbol of the gift of God.’

As Santa was twisting and pulling another object out of his bag, I heard the kitchen clock begin to strike twelve. I wanted to say something, but he went right on.

“Teach the children,” he said as the twisting and pulling suddenly dislodged a small CHRISTMAS TREE from the depths of the toy bag. He placed it before the mantle and gently hung the red ornament on it. The deep green of the fir tree was a perfect background for the ornament. Here was the second color of Christmas…
“The pure color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round,” he said. “This depicts the everlasting hope of mankind. Green is the youthful, hopeful, abundant color of nature. All the needles point heavenward…symbolic of man’s returning thoughts toward heaven. The great, green tree has been man’s best friend. It has sheltered him, warmed him, made beauty for him and formed his furniture.”

Santa’s eyes were beginning twinkle now as he stood there. Suddenly I heard a soft tinkling sound. As it grew louder and louder, it seemed like the sounds of long ago.

“Teach the children, that as lost sheep are found by the sound of the BELL, so should it ring for man to return to the fold…it means guidance and return. It further signifies that all are precious in the eyes of the Lord. Who is there among you if His son would ask for bread, would give him a stone?”

As the soft, sharp sound of the bell faded into the night, Santa drew forth a CANDLE. He placed it on the mantle and the soft glow from its tiny flame cast an eerie glow about the darkened room. Odd shapes in the shadow slowly danced and waved upon the walls.

“Teach the children’ he whispered, “that the candle shows man’s thanks for the star of long ago. Its small light is the mirror of starlight. At first candles were placed on the Christmas tree — they were like many glowing stars shining against the dark green. Safety now has removed the candles from the tree and the colored lights have taken over in that remembrance.’

Santa turned the small Christmas tree lights on and picked up a gift from under the tree. He pointed to the large BOW OF RIBBON and said, “A bow is placed on a present to remind us of the spirit of the brotherhood of man. We should be tied…all of us together with the bonds of goodwill toward each other. Goodwill forever is the message of the bow.’

Now my mind began to wonder what else old Santa might have in his bag, but instead of reaching in his bag he slung it over his shoulder and begun to reach up on the Christmas tree. I thought he was hungry as he reached for a candy cane, purposely placed high on the tree. “Teach the children that the CANDY CANE represents the Shepard’s crook. The crook on the staff helps bring back strayed sheep of the fold. The candy cane represents the helping hand we should show at Christmas time. The cane is the symbol that we are our brother’s keeper.

Santa then paused; he seemed to realize that he should be on his way. Later would be his big day. As he looked about the room, a feeling of satisfaction shone on his face. He read wonderment in my eyes, and I am sure he sensed my admiration for this night. He was his old self as he approached the front door. The twinkle in his eye gave Santa away; I knew that he wasn’t through yet. He reached into his bag and brought forth a large HOLLY WREATH. He placed it on the door and said “Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the truly eternal nature of love; it never ceases, stops or ends. It is made of many things and many colors. It should remind us of all the things of Christmas. Please teach the children.’

I pondered and wondered and thrilled with delight,
As I sat and viewed all those symbols at night.
I dozed as I sat in the soft candlelight,
And my thoughts were of Santa and all he made right.
To give and to help, to love and to serve
Are the best things of life, all man can deserve.
Old Santa Claus, that jolly fat elf,
Is the very best symbol of Christmas itself.
He’s the sign of the gift of love and life,
The ending of evil, the ceasing of strife.
His message to me on the pre-Christmas night,
Opened a treasure of deepest insight.
The one thing on earth we all ought to do,
Is the teaching of children the right and the true.

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