This is the third installment in our series of “kid’s lessons:” (by Linda S.)
Recently, Pastor Bill’s children’s sermon was “THE REAL DEAL”. He was showing the kids a real apple and a real orange and then gave them each a small picture of an apple or orange. They all caught on pretty quickly when they realized he was holding the “real” one and they had just the “fake” picture of the juicy fruit he was tempting them with. Of course they all wanted the REAL one.
How many times as adults have we been fooled or believed something was “real” when in fact it was not?
Many years ago, and I still have to laugh when I recall this (or when my dear friend Caron brings it to mind), I had what you would definitely call a REAL DEAL experience.
It was close to Christmas and I was driving down the road home from shopping. Up ahead on my left near the road was a Santa sitting in a chair waving as traffic went by. Well, those of you who really know me knows that I really am still very much a little girl at heart and at times I think I forget that I am a grandmother and that “little girl” in me comes out to play. I can get excited over something that a small child gets excited about (nothing wrong with that…remember growing old is mandatory…maturing is not). Anyway, back to my Christmas story . . . it was snowing and I was just in one of those “Christmas moods,” singing “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” along with the radio and then there he was on the side of the road in the snow was . . . YES. . . SANTA . . . the Big, Fat Man in his Red Suit! The “kid” in me leaped out . . . Santa was waving right at me! I began to wave back, and even rolled down my window to shout out “Merry Christmas, Santa!” Traffic was slowing up so as I was getting closer, the more I was waving and screaming my “Merry Christmas, San!” Believe me when I say that I was “really getting into” my own excitement. The car next to me slowed up, and the man driving the car was staring very strangely at me. I remember thinking to myself “what is HIS problem…I guess he just isn’t in the Christmas mood.” So I continued yelling out my window and waving back at Santa. Then traffic stopped and I was right in front of Santa; oh boy, maybe now he can hear me yelling “Merry Christmas”, so again I rolled down the window, and although it was snowing very hard, I thought I have to make this man in the red suit realize I appreciated the fact he was sitting there waving at everyone out in the snow. Then I saw him up close. He was not really Santa (well as adults you are all saying now “well DUH, no not “really” Santa). No, what I mean is, he was not even a REAL man in a Santa suit. There on that chair sitting in the snow by the side of the road was a mechanical Santa Claus waving back and forth. Imagine how I felt… I felt almost betrayed, not to mention embarrassed by my actions…believing here was a Santa and I was waving and shouting Merry Christmas to. He was a REAL FAKE. (No wonder the man next to me was staring at me . . . I was screaming at what he obviously knew was not real). Well, of course I called Caron and we laughed (she laughed really hard) when I shared this story.
This is like what Pastor Bill was telling the children that Sunday. He was making the point with the children that Jesus Christ is the REAL deal . . . and the example of the “real apple and real orange” was a good one. Pastor used this illustration to help make it clear to the children that many times we may think we are getting the real thing…only to find out later we were falling for a “fake”. Jesus tell us in Matthew 7:15 to “beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Also, Jesus reminds us again in Matthew 24:4-5 to “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” In a world where so many people are trying to “sell” us on how to be happy, how to fight depression, how to save our marriage, how to earn the most money . . . on and on that list goes, we as Christians need to remember this: Whatever question we might have, whatever need we might be facing . . . we need call upon Jesus because only He has the right answers. Only JESUS CHRIST is the “REAL” deal!