Day 5 – Better Than Santa – 2023

Day 5 – Better Than Santa – 2023

“The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.” 

Psalm 85:12-13 

Read Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 

The Santa season is at its full height. Stores and media sing and tell the Santa story. Though charming in a way, the belief that Santa is watching to know whether to punish (coal) or reward (gifts a-plenty) challenges the true Christmas story. Santa becomes a behavior modification device used to motivate behavior. The popularized Santa story prompts conformity, not transformation. Some of us grow into adulthood with that way of thinking. 

God’s story is different. God wants to forgive us and move us toward a truly changed life (Psalm 85:1-2). God wants to restore us to flourishing and to life abundant, speaking “peace” to us (v. 8). To accomplish this goal God comes to dwell with us (v. 9). The result of God’s coming is that we experience the abundance that comes when God’s “love and faithfulness meet” and God’s “righteousness and peace kiss” (v. 10). God wants what is good for us (v. 12) and promises to make a way for us to receive these good gifts by God’s presence. 

God’s free gift makes the coming of Jesus at Advent spectacular. We don’t deserve God’s grace and mercy, yet God becomes human and comes to give us this gift anyway. We deserved coal; we received God with us. That is the good news, that God in God’s abundant love and faithfulness brings us righteousness and peace. God comes, not because we earned it, but because we need God’s presence. That is what love does. God’s love gives freely. 

Jesus, we remember your love and faithfulness in this season. We receive anew your righteousness and peace that we might show others how good you are. 

Advent Devotions
Quentin P. Kinnison, Ph.D.

Quentin P. Kinnison, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Christian Ministry Fresno Pacific University


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