Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How to Use the Santa Claus Craze for Proclaiming Christ


Every parent deals differently with Santa Claus.  Some parents play it up by leaving gifts for the children under the tree with Santa's name written on the box and half eaten cookies left by the fireplace.  Other folks make the decision to tell their kids early on that Santa is not real.  

If you've read my blog for awhile I'm sure you can guess which of these two extremes I lean towards.  Christian parents have other things to consider regarding how to handle the Santa issue.  Is it right to lie to your kids?  Do you want a mythical fat man to show love to your kids through gift giving instead of you showing that love?  

However, instead of blowing Santa completely out of the chimney, maybe there is a way to leverage the Claus Craze during the Christmas season.  Think about the following.
Santa would have been right at home with the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. Santa, like the Pharisees, has a fondness for rule-keeping, good behavior, and rewarding high performers. 
But instead of seeing Santa as an opponent to be protested or a myth to naively endorse, Christians should see him as one of our greatest opportunities to astonish people with the gospel. Santa is not the enemy. Santa is an opportunity. 
The gospel shows us that the true gift-giver is Jesus. 
Santa says, “Earn it.” Jesus says, “Receive it.” 
Santa says, “If you’re good, you’ll get my love.” Jesus says, “Only my love can make you good.” 
Santa makes a list and warns, “I’ll be checking it twice.” Jesus fulfilled the list and declared, “It is finished” (John 19:30). 
You don’t need to blow Santa up. Just contrast him with Jesus. 
The gospel is an explosion of hope that brilliantly outshines the dull moralism of Santa.
These are ideas, and more, can be found here.

What do you think?  How do you handle Santa in your home?
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