You better not pout. You better not cry. You better not shout. I’m telling you why…
You’ll go to hell if you do.
He see’s you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good – so be good for goodness’ sake.
Then you’ll get to go to heaven.
Who are these verses talking about? Who keeps a list of who’s naughty or nice? Who threatens, “No special gift for you if you don’t behave!”?
It’s not Jesus!
I just find it fascinating that we are so highly offended with the idea of a righteous God punishing sin, but we love to wield over our children this mythological being who has attributes of God – knows all, sees all, can be all over the world in one night, answers all prayers – he will not give you presents if you behave badly! But we don’t like the real God who sent his real son to die for our “naughtiness” so we could be on His List: The Lamb’s Book of Life (1). And we don’t have to be “good for goodness’ sake” – that’s what Jesus did for us!
It makes me think of a cosmic White Elephant Party: You can’t afford to bring the gift to take part – So Jesus paid the price, and then you get to take the gifts of salvation, life, and sonship home with you! You enter the party a stranger, you go home part of the family of God.
What exactly is it Santa gives children? A sense of a need to be good – a false sense. Parents don’t actually withhold a present – no matter how bad their kid is. So in essence, you’ve made them feel there isn’t really a standard of right and wrong – and there is no real consequence for delinquency, in fact, just the opposite: You are entitled to presents! You are entitled to heaven, and life, and happiness! “Good” is something subjective anyway – as long as you aren’t Charles Manson you are a good person, right?
Except, God didn’t use Charles Manson as our standard. He didn’t make up a fat man in a red suit either to be our judge. God says: Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect. and Jesus came down to live in the flesh so he could die our deaths for all eternity just so we could mete that standard.
I just wonder if our Santa standard contributes to our culture’s disillusionment with God – how dare God call me a sinner and my actions sin. How dare he bring consequences into my life to try to turn me around from my wicked ways. There is no God. I stopped believing in “Santa” long ago.
Santa is just a fun way to make memories. What memories are we making? Are we imparting ideas about the nature of the supernatural – that it’s not real. it’s only pretend. We don’t really have an obligation outside of ourselves to a moral existence. “We’ll get presents either way. We all go to heaven. Because we’re all basically good. That’s why mommy and daddy gave me presents and pretended to be Santa: they love me. And if we all just love each other, we’ll go to heaven.
Except mommy and daddy lied. They deceived you. They made you believe in something that wasn’t real – be it an Elf or Santa. And now, they may be internally messing with your belief in a real God. A supernatural God. A holy God who requires holiness.
Where is the “holy” in our holy day – you know, holiday? Where is THAT gift to our children? Where is THAT gift to God?
There is only one purpose for Christmas: Christ’s mass
There is only one present that is omniporant – Christ.
There is only one person who brings peace: Jesus Christ
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.