Clergy View: The great Christmas deception
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21)
What do you think of when you think of Christmas? I think it is fair to say that if you ask a child they will say Santa Claus first and then probably presents. Following that they might say that they are going to visit Grandma and Grandpa.
Ask the average adult right now and they will probably say that Black Friday shopping and making cookies and maybe sending Christmas cards is what enters their mind. What is missing here? It is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. That really is the only reason for the season. About the only time the birth of Christ is mentioned is at a children’s program at church or perhaps a Christmas Eve service.
How is it that we have gotten to this place in our society? There are many factors. Think back to the news a few years ago and there was a rebellion by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They wanted any depiction of Mary and Joseph and the babe removed from city property in a nearby town and God forbid that any school in America have a real Christmas program or that people should say “Merry Christmas” instead of saying “happy holidays.” After all, you shouldn’t be pushing Christianity on anyone and yet many people would say that America is a Christian nation. It is plain to see that we certainly are not a Christian nation.
My children never believed in Santa Claus. We never tried to teach them that he was any more than a fictitious figure like Superman or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Some parents would be horrified and say, “You are robbing them of the magic moments of childhood!” Personally I don’t think that lying to children is something adults ought to do. Think of some of the words of the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” “He sees 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.”
The truth is that only God has such knowledge. Why don’t we teach the truth of the incarnation of the Son of God?
That really makes Christmas a simple celebration. It is a simple and yet glorious truth that Jesus Christ came to earth to live a sinless life and then die on a rugged Roman cross to give hope to all mankind. But that is not the emphasis we hear so much. By not telling the real story of Christmas we are being deceitful. If you have been teaching your children that Christmas is all about Santa, can you understand that they may not believe you when you tell them Christmas is really all about the birth of Jesus Christ?
And what about all the gift-giving? While I am not against giving gifts, usually if a person has a birthday, we give them to the person having the birthday. In our home we always gave gifts to our children, but we made sure that we gave the largest gift to the Lord by way of money to our local church. That is what we taught our children and encouraged them to do the same thing.
Have you ever thought of that kind of giving? Our family never suffered with that teaching and yours won’t either. Let’s make sure we teach all who know us is that the most important emphasis of CHRISTmas is found in the first six letters.