I rang in the Christmas season tonight at the historic Al Ringling Theater as part of the Downtown Baraboo’s Christmas Light Parade. It was a honor to be part of such a magical event and to spread the joy of Christmas to an estimated 10,000 people. Santa road in the historic circus wagon down the overcrowded streets of Baraboo, He was then hoisted up to the Al Ringling marquee on Fire truck one of the Baraboo Fire Department. From his elevated perch Santa directed the masses in singing Christmas classics like “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”, “Jiggle Bells”, and “Here Comes Santa Claus”, and then with a magical countdown he lit the Downtown Baraboo’s Christmas tree to officially kick off the Christmas season.
I have the honor of being Santa in Baraboo, Wi and although it is a responsibility I am taking seriously, I also understand that you don’t have to wear a red velvet suit or carry a sack of toys to spread the joy and hope of Christmas to others in your community. If you think about it, there are hundreds of little ways and chances for us to be shining lights of hope for one another, especially during these tough times. We can give money, sure, but we can also give our time, love, attention, creativity, or even just a shoulder of support. If you were to ask me, those are gifts we need to give and receive all year long.
I was… scratch that… Santa was invited over to People Helping People this afternoon to discuss collaborating together on “Stomp Out Hunger 2016.”
December third is the event date, but back to the story.
As Bill Harris showed me around their ministry site he shared how God has blessed them with a building, connections, opportunities, and on and on he went as he shared all the Lord is doing there in Baraboo and the surrounding areas. As the tour continued we made our way to the mechanical room which happens to currently be in need of an upright washer and dryer.
“The Lord has blessed us with all of this,” he says as he motions around the room. “And God continues to provide, all we need to do is trust Him and pray” Bill said in faith as he ushered me out of the mechanical room and into the service bays of their new ministry center. “Pray, Pray, Pray.” Bill continued as we walked further from the mechanical closet.
“Bill,” I interrupted.
“Bill, we had better get back into that room,” I said in a surprisingly authoritative voice. “If God is asking you to pray then we better bow our heads together NOW and ask God.”
We bowed our heads, shared a prayer of faith for an upright washer and dryer. As I walked back to my sleigh I thanked God for Bill, his ministry, and the moment of fellowship neither Bill or Santa will soon forget.