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The Confusions of Christmas

Posted on December 24, 2021

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The Confusions of Christmas

Isaiah 9:2-7

Titus 2:11-14

Luke 2:1-20

Philippians 2:5-11

Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year. Billions around the world take the time out of their busy lives to gather together to celebrate. The question though is, what are they celebrating. You would think that the reason for the season would be the same for everyone. However, it appears that this is not so. For some it is just a time off of work to be with family and exchange gifts. For many consumer centers it is a time to collect on profits for gift and meal purchases. For some it is all about Santa Clause bringing gifts to boys and girls. In fact, Santa Clause is so important this time of year the Dr. Fauci made sure to let all the boys and girls around the world know that he gave Santa his vaccination so he is safe and ready to go against covid for the Christmas season. Through all of these different reasons for celebrating it is easy to forget why Christmas is Christmas and what the celebration is really all about. Christmas is supposed to be about a birth. It is supposed to be about God coming into the world as a baby to bring salvation to all. However, it seems that as time goes, we take the Christ out of Christmas and just leave the mas in its place.

Sadly, the confusion seems to take place even in the church itself. I want to read for you an article written by a church leader representing another denomination whose identity I will not mention.

 “There are few causes to which I am more passionately committed than that of Santa Claus. Santa Claus deserves not just any place in the church, but the highest place of honor, where he should be enthroned as the long-bearded, ancient of days, the divine and holy one whom we call God. “Santa Claus is God the Son. ‘You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town’ simply refers to God the Son slipping into the secrets of the heart as easily as he slips down the chimney of the house. Santa Claus is God the Father, the creator of heaven and earth, in whose hand is a pack bursting at its seams with the gifts of His creation. Santa Claus is God the Holy Spirit, who comes with the sound of gentle laughter, with a shape like a bowl full of jelly, to sow in the night the seeds of good humor. Santa Claus indeed deserves the exalted and enthroned place in the church, for he is God, Son, Father and Holy Spirit. “So there he is: God the Son, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen him in the toy store. I’ve seen him in his car on the freeway. And when I saw him with his crazy beard and his baggy red suit, I saw more than the seasonal merchant of cheap plastic toys. I saw no less than the triune God,”

To be clear I believe that Santa Claus for the most part is a harmless fantasy. However, when Santa Claus starts to creep in on our theology then he becomes a dangerous individual. How far have some leaders of the church have fallen to where they will adjust their theology to fit with what the world desires and believes instead of preaching the truth regardless if it is acceptable, desirable, or popular in the world today. Jesus did not come into the world to win a popularity contest. He came to testify to the truth and to give of himself for all of mankind.

Because of the fact that we seem to want to compare Santa Claus to that of our Lord and savior I think it is important for us to compare the two under the lens of scripture. In Philippians chapter 2 Paul puts before us the theology of Christmas and who Jesus was and is and we can compare this to who Santa Claus is. “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage…” Other translations say that he did not consider equality with God as something that can be grasped meaning something that can be taken, stolen, or obtained by another individual. While Santa Claus takes his seat of equality with God as is given to him by so called preachers of the Gospel, Jesus has equality with God for he is God by nature. However, rather than taking advantage of his status he emptied himself and took on the nature of a servant made in the likeness of mankind. “Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death in a cross!” While Santa Claus comes bearing the gifts, stuff, and widgets that all us boys and girls supposedly deserve, Jesus comes to give of himself though we do not deserve what he gives us.

Because he was obedient to even death on a cross which was reserved for the greatest of criminals and for those who would dare to rise up against Rome, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knew should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Instead, we have grown to worship and exalt the name of Santa Claus as the name above all name who is exalted by all mankind, even exalted and vaccinated by Dr. Fauci. Because of this confusion we little by little have gone from saying Merry Christmas which has meaning and power behind those words to a simple “Happy Holidays,” which avoids offending those who refuse to acknowledge the Christ of Christmas. And because Christ offends so many some in the church have fallen back on to giving equality with God to someone who does not offend everyone in the world and that is Santa Claus. My how confusing our theology has become now that we worship Santa Claus as our Lord and savior.

I want to be clear for all of you tonight though. Jesus is the reason we celebrate here tonight. Jesus is the one whom we worship here tonight. Jesus is the reason for Christmas. The reason we give and share with each other is because Jesus gave of himself to us. He didn’t come driving a sleigh pulled by eight flying reindeer. He didn’t land on our rooftops and slide down our chimneys to eat a plate of cookies and leave presents under our Christmas trees. He came into the world born among farm animals to through a poor young virgin girl. He didn’t come with any glory and majesty about him. He didn’t come with a shiny red suit. He came naked and wrapped in swaddling clothes with a feed trough full of straw for his bed. He was a king in his own right and was God our creator in his own right. Yet he abandoned all of that and gave of himself for the entire world. Do not be confused. This here is what Christmas is all about.