| A SANCTIFIED SANTA??
Okay, I'll admit
it! I'm into the Santa Claus thing! And I'm
a saved, sanctified, baptized, love the Lord
Christian. Contradictory? I think not. To all
those "Scrooges" who say "Bah
Humbug" to Santa, I say, why don't we look
at the possibilities of this traditional theme,
and see how we could turn it into an instrument
of God's love.
The Santa idea
is fun, and I don't think God would deny us
a little Holiday fun. First of all, let's look
at the author of the poem which represents the
image of our Santa here in the United States,
Clement Clark Moore. Did you know that among
his other pursuits he was a Biblical Scholar?
He obviously didn't believe that this jovial
little emblem of a cheery, generous, gift giving
personage would forever taint the spiritual
welfare of his children, because the poem itself
was a gift from Mr. Moore to his own children
on Christmas Eve.
Jack Hayford, a prominent minister and teacher
of the Word, who once said, "Santa himself
is a case study in how we can use cultural traditions
to serve spiritual objectives. Whatever arguments
are mustered against a commercialized Christmas
centered in a secular Santa, I still like the
old guy." He told about Santa being "converted"
to serve his family's priorities, which never
diverted from Jesus, the central figure of the
Christmas celebration, and that the silly fun
of Santa was never in the same league as the
family's devotion and worship around the glorious
fact that "unto us a Savior was born, who
is Christ the Lord."
For those who
would rebel against the idea of even celebrating
Christmas because with it comes commercialism
and hype, (and sadly this is true) we might
do better to embrace the season with full hearts
and an intent to spread joy, love, and good
will all around us. Instead of trampling down
traditions, we can make the most of it with
joyous celebration, looking ever to the opportunities
to reach out to a lost world. Knowing that those
who are lost feel their loneliness and hopelessness
more deeply at this time of year, we can be
charitable as our Saviour wants us to be, showing
the love that He came to display when He was
born to save the world.
guy in the red suit embodies the world's need
for a "Father" ... the one true Father,
of course, is our Father in heaven, and those
who are lost may be more aware of that need
during our Holiday festivities, with the symbolism
of the man who brings good cheer and gifts to
fulfill their longings. The idea just might
open up hard hearts so they can be reached with
the love of the Real Father Christmas, The Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Christ Child become
Man and the Lamb who was sacrificed for us!
Now, just for
fun, here are a few names for "Santa"
from around the world, just to add a little
cultural interest to the "old guy"
as Bro. Hayford called him.
Frost - and Babouschka
Mexico: Pancho Navidad
Poland: Star Man
England: Father Christmas
Italy: La Befana
France: Pere Noel
And there are
many others, too numerous to mention. But you
see that "Santa" shows up around the
world. So there's just no getting away from
some traditions. And I for one, will go on having
fun with my family with the lighter side of
the season, while remembering the True Meaning
of Christmas, and that is for us, one of great
joy, because the Great Gift Giver gave His only
Son to be born among us and partake of our humanity
and become the first born of many in the Kingdom
of God! And that is the Real Reason for the
Bless You and Have a Very Merry Christmas!
Love to All in Jesus' Name!