Santa Sightings!

Here he comes again…that robust, jolly fellow with his sleigh full of gifts!

We all know (spoiler alert!) that Santa isn’t “real.” That our gifts really come from people who love us. But in their own way, they, too, are a manifestation of the love that started it all — the love from which all human love proceeds: the love of God, revealed to us in the Baby Jesus.

The love of God, in this world, must be made real largely through human beings. That’s exactly what Jesus was born to show us two thousand years ago.

Most of us won’t get a lump of coal in our stocking this Christmas. God has been good to us, even in this difficult year. That was not always true for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians — or so it seemed. For most of those two thousand years, amid the colorfully-wrapped packages, there was a lump of coal to remind us that our love — our very being — was not counted quite as real to other people as that of our straight brothers and sisters.

Here in Phoenix, where I live, there are still many LGBT young people who have no cozy home at Christmas. Tossed out of their homes by families who don’t understand them, they must do the rest of their growing up on the streets, where life is cold and hard.

My church wanted them to know they were still loved by God at Christmas. We took up a collection — successful beyond our wildest dreams — and bought the homeless LGBT teens in our city shoes, socks, blankets and personal care items this year. They were distributed through our local organization for LGBT youth.

Somewhere near you, a child still shivers in the cold. We may not be able to bring her or him “silver and gold,” as the carol proclaims, but we can, perhaps, spare some change so they might have some tangible evidence God loves them.

One surprisingly simple gesture may mean more to them than all the frankincense and myrrh in the world.

There are ways to help them throughout the year. Your local LGBT community center would be glad to help coordinate any effort you might make on their behalf.

Merry Christmas and a happy 2010 from all of us at Whosoever.