December 8
Better than Santa Claus
Pastor Mark Jeske

At best, the story of the jolly man in a red suit is a harmless legend with which to amuse and delight small children. At worst, it is a terrible twisting of the Bible’s actual revelation about our miraculous provider.

The 1934 song by Coots and Gillespie, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” is much-loved, extensively recorded, and gets heavy radio airplay each year. But it is a drag on the Christian faith, because Santa, who supposedly sees and remembers all, promising to punish the naughty and reward the nice, actually does no such thing. Everybody knows it’s a scam—you get presents every year regardless of how you lived. The implication is that God can’t do those things either and that you can ignore his Word and warnings as you do Santa’s.

In reality, “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good” (Proverbs 15:3). God really does keep track of all human behavior, yours and mine included. He knows you’ve been naughty; and to spare you from the terrible consequences of your misdeeds, he arranged the incarnation of his Son, Jesus. He knows also when you’ve been nice, and your deeds of love make his heavenly smile light up. The Holy Spirit whom he sent to live within you is your guide and inspiration to love one another, and not just at Christmastime but all year ’round.

So be good for Jesus’ sake.


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