This past Sunday at church, our pastor spoke on Santa. What? What pastor devotes a whole Sunday to Santa? Well, ours did. But it opened my eyes and my heart to new thinking. It was a change in perspective in the focus of Christmas, the attitude of my heart, and the way I spend my time this season. Now I am not going to give an opinion of believing in Santa or not, that is not what this is about. I just want to help us focus on the true and full meaning of Christmas.
I know the season is crazy, and the time to sit down and read a recap of a whole sermon is hard to come by. So let’s quickly compare the Christmas season according to Santa and according to Jesus in just one category. Santa Claus is works based Jesus is grace based. Santa is all about recording all the things we have done to put us on the naughty or nice list. Jesus is all about loving us for who we are, right where we are. Santa gives us things we earn. Jesus gives us undeserved grace. Santa gives us stuff if we are good. Jesus saves our life regardless. Santa comes to bring things. Jesus came to sacrifice himself. Santa gives us coal if we mess up. Jesus puts his hand out to pick us up and gives us an extra big hug. Santa brings stuff that does not last. Jesus gives us eternal life that lasts forever.
Don’t you want to live a grace based life? Don’t you want to focus your time on things that bring hope, peace, and purpose rather than things that remind us we are never good enough. Basing your life on grace means you understand you are a sinner and you need Jesus. Basing your life on works means you are trying to take the control into your own hands and living for yourself. Works based looks to success, money, pleasure, and is never fully satisfied or at peak achievement. There is always more. The grace of Jesus covers all, saves all, and frees all. Living in the grace of Christ allows us to find purpose in something bigger than ourselves and this world and live with purpose. Jesus came to earth as a baby, lived a holy life, and died for me. Not because I deserved it, but because he loved me. In reality, I don’t deserve things, clothes, gadgets, or gifts. So if Santa’s giving was a matter of reality of how good we are, we are all sinners, so we would all get nothing. But Christ has given us everything, in him, based on his glory, not my worth. And because of Christ, I am saved and I can live a full life.
But here’s the thing, you don’t have to choose between Santa and Jesus. You can enjoy the fun of a big jolly generous man. You can enjoy the imagination of flying reindeer. It’s up to you. Or you can also learn about the story of St. Nick. But don’t let Santa take the place of Jesus. Keep Jesus in His rightful place in your heart, your time spent, your actions, and your conversations. He is the reason for Christmas. It was His birth that changed the world, and changed our lives forever. Let’s live that way this season. Share the love of Christ with others. Merry Christmas.