Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa: the most unloving of everyone this Christmas?

"You better not shout you better not cry, Santa Claus is coming to town. He's making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out whose naughty or nice, Santa Claus is coming to town. He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're a awake, he knows when you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake."

When at a Youth Gathering the whole assembly knew this common Christmas carol, but most could not tell you the first lines of "A Mighty Fortress." That aside, how much Gospel does Santa bring? Alright, he makes a list of good and bad, he watches over you to see if you have been nice, and you better not shout or cry or ELSE, he will not bring you a gift.

What is even more fascinating about the Santa dynamic is that we live in a over-Gospeled society (no law), but we at the same time promote the most law oriented, judging figure in all of history: Santa the Claus!

Why promote a law monger when we can promote the Word made flesh? Why promote one that can't be everyone all the time for one who only shows up one night a year? Why promote a judge with no Gospel, when we can promote the one who kills us in the law, but then lifts us up into His arms? Why promote a sinful Santa, when we can promote a sinless God who has done it all?

Am I saying NO SANTA ever? Not necessarily (even though that is what our family does), BUT are we celebrating Santa more than Jesus? If so, why is that a problem?

Lord have mercy


Potts Family said...

If only we could somehow remind people of where the myth that we have as Santa Clause today came from. The new Veggie Tales Christmas movie did a good job of showing the real St. Nick!

Ezzie F said...

I must respond to your take on Santa.

Santa Claus does not really exist. Today's Santa is a conglomeration of sources, a legendary figure that has evolved through the years. He is a concept, a legend, a historical figure, a social custom. He is a powerful cultural symbol. Both Santa's visual appearance and his character were created. (Actually by a theology professor). Therefore, how can Santa be a "sinful" Santa and/or a law monger. Further, Santa judges no one. The shopping mall Santas are people donning a Santa suit and portraying Santa. The Santa actor has no ability to judge the demeanor of children throughout the year.

One could say that Santa is what an individual allows him to be within their own mind.

You made mention of the fact that a gathering of youth knew the words to "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" but did not know the words to "A Mighty Fortress". Perhaps this is due to the fact that the Santa tune is played how many times a day (prior to Christmas) over the radio. How many times has "A Mighty Fortress" hit the air waves. Further, it is a hymn that is most often sung at only one time during the church year. Is that Sants's fault? I think not. I would guess that would be the fault of the pastor and perhaps music director.

I personally do not "promote" Santa. I was allowed to talk to Santa when I was a child. I have children, they were allowed to visit Santa. They are now grown and they allow their children to visit Santa. They do attend church; they do have a nativity set in their homes. They do know the true meaning of Christmas.

I think we all should remember that Santa is a figure of culture meant to add to a festive season, perhaps not always in the best ways. UNFORTUNATELY, he is simply a myth that has overtaken a Christian holiday.

Rejoice Alleluia
Alleluia Rejoice
Wishing you and yours joy as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.