A sad story hit the wires this week. One of those stories that pulls at our heart strings. It seems that a Tennessee man who plays Santa Claus at about 80 events a year was called by an ICU nurse to come to the bedside of a terminally ill boy.

When Santa arrived the boy’s mother gave him a toy to give to the dying boy. Santa went into the room and sat on the boy’s bed and told him, “Say, what’s this I hear you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my number one elf!”

The boy asked Santa, “They say I’m gonna die. How can I tell when I get where I’m going?”

Santa responded by telling the boy to tell them that he is Santa’s number one elf and they’ll let you in.

The boy gave Santa one last hug, asked Santa to “help him” and passed from this life.

I told you it was a sad story, didn’t I? It greatly saddens me… but, maybe, not the same way it saddens you. It saddens me that a mother and a nurse, who deals with death on a regular basis, would pick up the phone and call an actor in a red suit to give a precious soul some false hope at the very end of his life.

“Just tell them that you’re my number one elf and they’ll let you in,” he was told.

What saddens and angers me most is that a boy cried out for help from adults who were supposed to help him and all he got was a fairy tale. Neither a mom, a nurse, nor Santa had the words that could make a transition like that a hopeful one. Instead of telling the boy to relate to “them” that he was a number one elf, where was the voice that could use the same number of words (or less) to tell a soul hanging on to life by a thread, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”

The hijacking of Christmas isn’t really a game when you look at it from this angle, now is it? The baby that was laid in a manger 2000 years ago is the only savior this world will ever have. Now, that’s a message of hope, an inspiring story to shout about. Jesus Saves!

Pastor Bret