I live in a town with one stop light. There’s nothing special about it- nothing remarkable or noteworthy. It’s a simple town made of every day people, and for the most part, we all live our lives in a secluded fashion-so wrapped up with the busyness of life that we rarely live in community the way I wish we did. There’s one thing, or person, though, I should say, that my little town has that warms my heart.

You see, there’s an older man in our neighborhood that cares more about others than just about anyone I’ve seen. He gets to know each family he passes on his daily bike-rides, and makes a special note to remember the names of each child he encounters. During most of the year, he’s just a friendly grandpa type with a long white beard. During Christmas, though? He’s Santa, dressed in red with boots adorned with jingle bells, and he visits each home individually for pictures by Christmas trees. He rides atop a vintage fire truck a week before the 25th of December each year, posing for photos and handing out candy canes. As he holds babies and listens intently to wish lists, he addresses every child he knows by name. 

The look on my kids’ face when Santa wishes them a Merry Christmas followed by their individual names is a thing of beauty. “Santa knows your name, buddy!” I exclaimed as we walked home from our visit to the sparkling old fire truck a couple weeks ago. I was met with an awe-filled silence, my boy’s eyes gleaming and excited. Santa knew his name.

Known. Seen. Remembered. Don’t we all want to feel that way? Rest assured, friend- you are. Jesus knows more than your name. He knows everything about you. Your details. Your quirks. Those things that no one else knows but you- He knows them. He loves you anyway.

As most of us limp instead of sprint into the new year- let’s remember this one thing. We are known by the God of the universe and loved unconditionally from the top of our heads to the tips of our toes.

This world (along with social media, let’s be honest) has a way of convincing even the most confident of us that we aren’t getting much right. We aren’t doing enough, our house isn’t nice enough, our wardrobes aren’t stylish enough, the list goes on. So let’s get this one thing straight for 2018- the only thing in this world and the next that matters, is that He knows us, and we know Him. 

Happy New Year, friends. May it be blessed with the ever-present knowledge of who you are in Christ.

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