This past Sunday, we had an informal chat in the elementary aged children’s church about the two men of Christmas. Do you know who they are?
I had one group of children write down everything they know about Jesus, and a second group write down everything they know about Santa. Yes, they are the two men of Christmas to which I am referring.
The discussion was a comparison between Santa and Jesus. If you look closely, they are very similar.
Let’s take a look, who do you think this is talking about?
Parents seek to instill a belief in him and so they bring their children to where he is to help instill that belief. Children are taught that when they believe, they will receive a good gift and are encouraged to obey their parents. They are taught that he is always watching.
Well, is it talking about Santa, or Jesus? or both?
Yes, it could be either one.
Parents seek to instill a belief in Santa and so they bring their children to the mall to see Santa to help instill that belief. When they believe in Santa, they receive good gifts and are encouraged to obey their parents. They are taught that Santa is always watching.
Parents seeking to instill a belief in Jesus bring their children to church where they are told that if you believe in Jesus, He will give the greatest gift (Eph 2:8,9; John 3:16). They are encouraged to obey their parents (Eph 6:1,2) and taught that Jesus is always with them (Matt 28:20).
So how is a child to distinguish between the two? What is the difference?
We know that Jesus came to take the punishment for our sins. Jesus died in our place. Imagine being in prison, sentenced to die and another takes your place. Imagine how Barabbas felt when Jesus took his place on the cross. It is humbling to know that I am Barabbas, you are Barabbas, Jesus took YOUR place on the cross, Santa did not.
So how do you handle Santa during the Christmas season? How do you handle Jesus?
What are you teaching the young ones in your life?
I encourage you to take time this Christmas season to emphasize the difference between Jesus and Santa.
Your comments and thoughts are welcome. If you are interested in the similarities between Santa and Jesus, then you can view this video, and view this pdf file listing various similarities (found on internet and some of my own)