Santa Claus the Anti-Christmas

“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.'” (Luke 1:30-31).

Santa Claus is anti-Christmas?!?! What in the world are you talking about, James?!?!

That is blasphemous! That’s ridiculous! That’s crazy!

I know. But give me three minutes to explain.

For modern day Americans Santa is the epitome of Christmas. Pretty much no Santa, no Christmas.

The verse of the day comes from the telling of the first Christmas. This is the angel Gabriel explaining to Mary that she will be the mother of Jesus, the Christ of Christmas.

  • The name Jesus comes from the Hebrew word Yeshua which literally means Savior, Deliverer, Rescuer.
  • When Gabriel tells Mary that she has found favor with God, the Greek word for favor is charin which is the noun form of charis, meaning grace.

Gabriel tells Mary that God’s grace has found her. And that is the story of all of us: God’s grace comes to us to find us. Grace is always unmerited and undeserved, otherwise it wouldn’t be grace. The story of the first Christmas is the story of how God’s grace comes to sinners. God’s grace comes to sinners not because we merit God’s grace and favor. Christmas is so amazing because it’s all about God’s amazing grace, God’s unmerited grace and favor toward sinners.

So, what does all this have to do with Santa Claus?

You all know the song: Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

You better watch out. You better not cry.
You better not pout. I’m telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice,
to find out who’s naught or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He sees you when you’re sleeping and he knows when you’re awake.
He knows if you’ve been bad or good. So be good for goodness sake.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

Santa is all about whether we’ve been naughty or nice. When we’re naughty we get coal. Only when we’ve been nice and good we get nice presents.

This is the opposite of grace.

This is the opposite of God’s favor.

This is the opposite of what God offers in Jesus Christ.

Christmas is all about God’s favor of sending Jesus to die for sinners. Christmas is all about grace.

Santa Claus is the epitome of anti-grace. The message of Santa Claus is the very opposite of the message of God’s grace in the person of Jesus Christ. Santa Claus is the opposite of the message of grace in Christmas.

Thank God for Jesus! Thank God for grace! Otherwise, as Pastor Brad says, “We’d all be hosed!”

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