December 5, 2014

Why I'm glad Jesus isn't like Santa Claus

Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas?

Love. It.

I love the sights, the smells, the sounds of the holiday season.

The other day, the boys and I were listening to some Christmas tunes online and I heard the classic song "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and it got me thinking - I'm sure glad that Jesus isn't like Santa Claus.

Don't get me wrong. Santa can be fun. We love leaving cookies and milk and spreading oats and glitter on the lawn for the reindeer. We hang up our stockings and watch Christmas movies featuring the big red guy, but we obviously know that Christmas is not about him. The original Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) did the things he did because of the true meaning of Christmas - the gift of the Savior (and he did it all without the aid of magical reindeer or hard-working elves).

For whatever reason that night, the song "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" really caught my attention, and it made me grateful.

You better watch out. You better not cry.
"When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled." John 11: 33

You better not pout
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7

I'm telling you why - Santa Claus is coming to town.
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” - Acts 1:11

He's making a list. He's checking it twice
"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:8-12

Gonna find out who's naughty or nice
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21

He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake 
"I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me." Psalm 3:5

He knows if you've been bad or good,  
"God, You know my foolishness, and my guilty acts are not hidden from You." Psalm 69:5

So be good for goodness sake.
"Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins." Ecclesiastes 7:20

Santa's a busy man he has no time to play
"Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows!" Luke 12:7

He's got millions of stockings to fill on Christmas day.
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10

I don't know about you, but I'd take compassion, grace, and abundant life over a stocking full of candy canes any ole day.

Don't get me wrong. This isn't a "bash Santa" post. We do the Santa thing in our house, but we always talk about the "whys" of Christmas. Why did Saint Nicholas feel compelled to help those in need? Why do we celebrate Christmas as a family in the first place?

Why did God send a baby to be born in a stable and worshiped by some ordinary shepherds? The Christmas story itself is magical and meaningful, and the best part of all - it will never break, it will never be outgrown. It's the gift that keeps on giving. The gift of God's love and grace in the form of a tiny infant. It's a gift we could never earn on our own, and a gift that was freely given to us even when we didn't deserve it. We deserved coal, but we received compassion.

He's the reason why Christmas means so much to me.   


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