It is that time of year again. It seems that every mall has its own fat man in a red suit someplace, complete with his own Christmas village and elf-like helper. There is likely to be a red-nosed reindeer somewhere nearby.
The children come up, sit on his lap and regale him with their lists of this years "must have" loot. Some of the children come quite excitedly, and other come in sheer terror, crying and screaming because they don't know who this strange looking man is and don't want to go near him, let alone sit in his lap. The parents try to reassure their frightened children that "It's only Santa."
Some people think that Santa Clause is a harmless Christmas tradition. Others fear that by encouraging Santa we teach our children lies and encourage greed. You can make a good case both ways. Even the whole concept of celebrating Christmas can have a strong case made for it or against it.
Whatever you think of Santa or Christmas, I see a lot of similarity between Santa and our concept of God.
Many people picture God as a bearded, elderly gentleman, in whose arms we can sit and give him our wish list. If we've been good little boys and girls, we'll get our wishes. Others are frightened by Him, and don't want to go anywhere near Him.
The reality is that neither concept of God is complete.