And in this Corner...

>> Friday, December 23, 2011

I shared this devotional on JournEzine today and wanted to make sure I put it here on my blog too.  I'm having fun editing the Emagazine but it's lots of work!  Anyway, here is my post:

Every year at this time, Santa Claus enters our vocabulary. We warn our children they better be good for goodness sake! I must admit I used that on my kids to get them to eat their vegetables and clean their rooms for as long as I possibly could. Santa had a good run in our house until they were old enough to realize that he just wasn't real and they were being played by a mama that wanted them to mind, is all. Smart kids.

I wonder why we do this? Do you wonder that too? Do we talk to our children about Jesus as much as we do about Santa Claus? Ouch. I'm sorry if that hurt. I mean, honestly. How many times do we sit around together watching movies about Jesus? Okay. Now how many movies and cartoons about Santa have we watched this season already? And the channels will still have them on after Christmas too and we will watch them. We all seem to be suckers for Santa.

Maybe it's his giving spirit and joy he spreads to everyone in the land? -- Ummm... I thought it was Jesus' birth that heralded in that joy, right?
Luke 2: 10Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people11For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The baby didn't come bearing physical presents.  He didn't come with a sword.  He DID come to change the world though, and nothing was ever the same after His birth.  He came to live His life on earth as a common man and experience everything just like us.  He taught His followers about God and how to walk a faith-filled life and when it was time for Him to go back to Heaven, Jesus died for all of our sins.

Phil. 2:8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.9Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name…

Santa didn't do any of those things.  Even if he were real, why would we spend so much time exalting a fat old man in a red suit?  He's a good guy.  He gives us hope in the human race.  He makes us smile.  He helps us remember to give to others.  I know all that but is it really worth confusing our kids?  I watched one Christmas movie where the kids were praying to Santa.

I talked with an 18 year old who still believes in Santa.  Granted, she's a special needs child but she's a thinker.  She told me, "Yes, I'm a Christian and I believe in God and Jesus.  Of course I believe in Santa!"  You see, I just think somewhere along the way, our kid's theology is getting messed up.  Confused.  It's clear to us.  Santa is fun.  I love Christmas movies as much as anyone, probably more.  I love trying to figure out how in the world Santa could get to all those houses in one evening.  Yes, I admit it.  I still ponder that.  But let's don't confuse our kids for the sake of our childhood memories and traditions.

The line needs to be drawn.   I'm not saying we should outlaw Santa.  I'm not a Grinch, after all.  Let's just be careful to keep things in perspective.  Try to talk about Jesus' birth and the real reason for CHRISTmas much much more than Santa Claus.  That's all I'm saying.

I also wrote about this on the Joe blog.  It was called, Bad Theology.  I hope you will read that also.  I shared a website I found that was most appalling.   

Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours!


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