Host (talking over applause): Welcome back to our show.  Jesus popped in just a few minutes ago, so we dropped everything and decided to give him some air time. He seems hot to talk to us, so let’s hear what he has to say.

Jesus: Dude! Long time no see. How’s it been going?

Host: It’s been going okay. We’ve been fielding a lot, and I mean a ton, of questions about belief, faith, do you exist, etc. Are you some sort of CGI character or a slick video edit?

J: Hmmm, I could be, but you know it really doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter at all.

H: Okay, as always, you’ve got our attention. (audience buzzes with concern, whispers).

J: I’ll explain, don’t worry. Let me give you a heads up with what I’ve been thinking about for the past couple of months. And I’ll list them.

  1. How is believing in Santa Claus any different from believing in me?
  2. Does God answer prayers?

It’s kinda daunting when I put it like that, huh? I know, I know. You people sometimes think you’ve got me. Look, Jesus is like Santa Claus. I get it. I really do.

There are millions and millions of words written about why prayer doesn’t work, why miracles don’t happen, and why the breath of the universe has abandoned you on this insignificant blue world in the middle of nowhere.

I know it. I really do.

So, let me ask someone in the audience. Why am I different from Santa Claus?

Man (man gingerly raises hand): Hi, my name’s John, and you are different from Santa Claus because I can actually see you sitting there and you have saved me.

J: It’s nice to be recognized, John, but how do you know I’m me? I could just be a guy in flip flops in off the street from the local soup kitchen looking for some audience swag. How do you know who I am?

Man: You have a photo ID?

J: Nope. Let me help you guys out. You don’t. You won’t know it’s me. You can’t know it’s me. And you know what? It’s all right. Nobody expects you to. The short answer to the question: Why am I different from Santa Claus, is I’m not. We’re no different.

Host (palpable silence from the audience): Um, we’ve done enough of these to know you’ve got something up your sleeve… what is it, Jesus? Santa Claus doesn’t exist. How can you be no different from that?

Jesus: I’m just not. Look, let’s wade right into it, into that place you all fear to go. When we listen to those that would try to derail your faith, or explain away their own by saying that prayer doesn’t work, that the things for which you hope don’t come true, that miracles don’t happen, you will notice a pattern in their logic.

Want to know what it is?

H: YES YES YES… tell, us Lord!

J: Whoa, fella. It’s not that special. The straw man here is that everybody atheists and believers alike are looking for magic. You’re both looking at the same sweat stain of the Virgin Mary or weeping crucifix and saying alternatingly, ‘It’s proof that God exists’ or ‘It’s a hoax therefore God doesn’t exist’, and then there’re the fish eyes. Yikes, the depths to which you will all sink just to hold onto plausible deniability.

You’re all missing the point.

There is no magic. There are only knowns and unknowns, laws of the physical universe that you understand and those that you don’t. There is no Santa Claus. There is no God. Once you can throw out those two things, you can start to see the truth, see past the hoax, clear the fog and see for miles and miles and miles.

Once your mind is cleared from looking for me in the wrong places, you will be truly free. Miracles happen, if you look closely enough. Divinity is all around, in the smallest places, in the greatest places. Someday I promise you that spinal cords will be repaired. Someday I promise you that you will be able to grow back limbs, cure the blind the deaf. In fact, you’re already light years beyond where we were 2000 years ago.

It’s a miracle I tell you.

You have cars, efficient agriculture, civilized society (although you still have a ways to go), airplanes, space travel… the list goes on and on. I mean – get this – you people are actually considering plans to nudge asteroids on probable courses with your planet! It totally blows my mind. Do you know what a miracle that would be, and you’re starting to think about it!

Yeah, sure God doesn’t answer prayers, like Emeril, "BAM!" you’ve got new car. Congratulations. If you want that, get your ass to the Price is Right.

No, prayer, is more of a dream. If you dream something hard enough, you’ll get off your ass and make it happen, or talking about it will inspire someone else to do something. Or if you’re just around the hole enough, one day you’ll sink a hole in one.

Magic is either nowhere or everywhere. I know I just said magic doesn’t exist, but I had to kill it before I brought it back to life (little technique I like to use). Is it magic when a baby is born, when a flower blooms, when a cloud bursts? Just because you understand how something works, doesn’t mean that it is not special or mysterious. If you understand absolutely everything about a thing… you understand it so well that you find yourself contemptuous of it, take a step back and look with new eyes.

So here we are full circle. I wager no one in the audience would say they believe in Santa Claus. 

Except me.  I believe in Santa Claus.  I see him all the time in the mall. I see a ton of Santa Clauses, men who spend months perfecting their beards, honing their Santa Claus skills just to bring some joy to children at Christmas time. You adults know perfectly well where the presents come from, right? You’ve abandoned your simplistic view of Santa Claus, the guy with the flying reindeer who shoots up and down chimneys on Christmas Eve.  Why won’t you let your belief grow with your minds?  Santa Claus is alive and well.  I swear.  I know him.

Santa Claus is everywhere and he’s spreading. He started out as just a good man or a bunch of good men, they were real people who grew into legends who inspired others who then took that spirit, drank it in, imbibed it and became him.

And he’s here, alive in this room with us today. He died, but he’s here.  He came back.  And his love is everlasting.

Peace my brothers and sisters.