Evan the Elf
By Kevin Probst
“Have you ever wondered how Santa could know if you’re naughty of nice each year as you grow? For hundreds of years it’s been a big secret. It now can be shared if you promise to keep it.” So begins a book, Shannon, my wife, read to our son Kameron tonight. The book is called The Elf on the Shelf and we now have a little elf in our house whom we’ve named Evan.
The whole concept of the book is for Kameron to wake up each morning between now and Christmas and look for the little elf. He will be up high where he cannot be reached. If Kam touches him he loses some of his ‘magic’. The elf watches Kameron every day and then reports to Santa Claus on his behavior.
As I listened to his mother read him that story I thought of a verse in Hebrews (4:13) “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Now it’s just a story, just a fun fantasy for Kameron, but one day we want him to realize that God is always watching, is always aware of his thoughts, words and deeds. We pray often and earnestly that Kam will give his heart to Jesus and live his life in a way that pleases his Savior.
Jesus sat at the well when the Samaritan woman approached him. At one point in the conversation he asks her to “Go, call you husband and come here.” She replies, “I have no husband.” But Jesus couldn’t be thrown off so easily. She was covering up the truth by telling a truth. Jesus cuts to the chase, “”You are right in saying ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” Jesus is using irony. He knows the lie she is trying to cover.
This woman is skilled in using manipulative language so she changes the subject. “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus must have been amused. John Piper says that an animal will gnaw off its leg to get out of a trap and this woman’s mind was mangled trying to escape her trap. “Now that we’re talking about adultery, where is the proper place to worship?”
She was astonished that Jesus knew all there was to know about her. He knows about her five failed marriages, he knows about her ravenous thirst for something that will satisfy. He knows about her dark, depressing moments and her struggle with guilt and emptiness. He knows about her habits and addictions. And though he knew all of these things, he was not repulsed by her, he persisted in trying to break through her cold and calloused heart.
Jesus was revealing to her….I understand you. I made you. I know why you’ve been running from man to man. It’s because you can’t find any satisfaction. I have living water that will take care of that problem forever. This is water you can’t drink with your lips, you must drink with your soul. You don’t sip it, you draw freely to feel it’s satisfying affects.
Don’t run back home to your television, your trashy books, your I-pod and your computer games. Don’t spend your money on trivial things in a vain attempt to find satisfaction. Don’t turn to a lover or a new hobby or a new hubby. Allow my eternal light to shine on the darkest recesses of your soul.
In The Little Elf on the Shelf my son learns that someone is watching and that someone wants to reward him. The next lesson Kam will learn is that because of his boyish nature he will misbehave, probably many times before Christmas. Santa rewards good behavior but God’s gift of forgiveness is free to all who will ask. Not only does he watch everything we do, he knows everything about us. I know that can make one feel uncomfortable but once you know the true nature of God is becomes reassuring.