by | Dec 24, 2023 | authentic, Joy, Love

“’Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise”?’” (Matthew 21:16 NIV)

I will never forget the Christmas Eve service that I attended on December 24th, 1989. That year, it was decided that a significant portrayal of the Christmas story would be presented complete with wise men, shepherds, Joseph and Mary, and a live baby. One of my granddaughters was born in September, 1989, and she was chosen to play the part of Baby Jesus.

The church was packed with over 300 people. To minimize the risk of something unexpected happening during the live performance, her father, John, had been chosen to play the part of Joseph.

Following the perfectly executed performance, the leader explained the meaning of each participant’s role to ensure that the spiritual significance was relevant and authentic for all present.

After mentioning the wise men, the shepherds, and the angels, he came to Joseph. He paused briefly, and before he could say anything, he was interrupted. My oldest granddaughter, who was three at the time, commented in a loud voice that could be heard by most in the audience, “That’s not Joseph! That’s my Uncle John.”

The leader struggled to regain his composure and continued his summation of the story, ensuring that all in the audience understood the significance of the parts played convincingly by each presenter.

During the Christmas holidays, we are challenged to be authentic in our explanations to children. The fantasy of Santa Claus riding his sleigh and bringing toys can be helpful if it is used to teach the joy of giving to others. Similarly, telling of the birth of Jesus in an authentic manner can be challenging.

While we may chuckle at my granddaughter’s comment, the lesson that this incident teaches is a challenge to you and me to consider that it is essential and important to be authentic and genuine in all that we think and in all the actions that we take in life.

Paul’s words in Corinthians give a challenge to us all.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-5 ESV)

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to be authentic in all that we do. May we share Your love with others in a genuine way. Amen.

Copyright © 2022, by Vincent Walter <>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional  
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Used with the permission of PresbyCan and author.