Cards, merchandise, plays and songs will all revolve around two characters during this coming Christmas season. Australians are very familiar with the big man in the red suit and long white beard with his band of elves and reindeer. He brings Christmas cheer to our children and the promise of lots of gifts. But what about this other man who often appears as a helpless babe in a manger? What does He have to offer? Jesus, meaning 'Saviour', was long foretold by another name: 'Immanuel' which in the Hebrew literally means 'God-with-us'. He came to show us who the Creator of the Universe is. He mingled with ordinary folk like us, and with the least and the lowest.
We all have a 'God-shaped blank' in our lives. We're made that way. Let Jesus fill it, and discover the core of Christmas – the best Christmas present of all. It was God's gift then and now: Jesus, the babe of Bethlehem, who came that He might later be the Christ of the Cross at the first Easter, dying and rising again for love of us all. Do you seek His gift of eternal life? Christmas cheer all year 'round? Whether you believe in Santa or not, don't pass up the opportunity to believe in Jesus – what He offers is greater than anything you can imagine.•