I’ve been sick on the couch all day, so I’ve seen my share of Santa movies. No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to avoid the big red guy this time of year. He is on every channel and hung up at every shop around town. Or course it’s pretty easy to understand why. A jolly old guy who brings kids presents every Christmas Eve night. What’s not to love!
But have you ever thought how frightening the claims of Santa actually are?
“He sees you when you’re sleeping
And he knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake.”
No wonder “you better watch out” cause Santa is coming to town. He know and see all your deeds, good or bad. Even the secret ones that no else knows about, Santa does, and he determines if you get to be on the naughty or nice list. Scared yet?
Kids sit on his knee and write him list, hoping their good deeds have outweighed their bad, and that little Elf on their shelf kept his mouth shut about some of the stuff he saw this month. Kids love the excitement of Christmas morning, and the gifts under the tree that have been put there with Christmas magic and reindeer hulves. But I have to think deep in their hearts they are a bit scared. Maybe even terrified that Santa might tell their parents the truth about their not so nice behavior.
Now let me draw a gospel parallel (after all Christmas is about Jesus right?).
Some of what is claimed about Santa is actually true with God. God really does see us when we’re sleeping and knows we’re awake. He actually does know all our deeds, and because of those deeds we are all on the naughty list. A list that doesn’t just exclude us from toys, but a list that puts us under the wrath of God.
And here is where the gospel story is way better than Santa and raindeer. The legend of Santa says if you are really good then you can earn a gift from him, while the gospel says, though you are completely bad God purchased the greatest gift on earth for you. The gift of life with Him forever.
And how is this for scary. The God who knows you fully and should judge you completely, is the same God who took your death and gave you His life. The God who could judge you, judge His Son in your place. That is the gift of Christmas.
So while Santa says if you’re good enough I’ll give you a toy, God says despite how bad you are, I’ll give you myself.
So who do you think has the better story?