(First published 12-19-2015)
“I can’t wait for Christmas!!!” My six-year-old granddaughter blurted out to the clerk restocking the shelves at the grocery store. The clerk responded with, “Have you been good this year so Santa will come?”
Arianna looked a little confused and then answered, “Santa’s not real, God’s real.” Now it was the clerk’s turn to be confused. Not knowing just what to say, I smiled, and we moved on down the aisle.
I thought about the conversation all the way home. I don’t think of Santa as evil, but Jesus is so much better.
Santa keeps a list of who is naughty or nice. The theory is he only visits those who have been good. We use it to motivate kids to cooperate with us those last weeks before Christmas, or those gifts aren’t going to show up.
Jesus, on the other hand, came knowing we weren’t nice. We needed a Savior who could save us from our sin. (Matthew 1:21) His coming depended on God’s goodness, not our goodness.
Santa supposedly leaves a lump of coal to those who don’t measure up. Jesus offers complete forgiveness and has taken the punishment we deserve by dying in our place.
Santa lives forever to keep track. Jesus now lives forever to intercede for us before God. (Romans 8:34)
Santa shows up one day a year. Jesus has promised to never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5b-6)
But the most important difference between Santa and Jesus is the one Arianna pointed out so simply. “Santa isn’t real …God is real!” It is fun to pretend, but my belief in God isn’t a fantasy. It is something I have staked my life on. So as you celebrate Christmas this year remember it is about a Savior, not a Santa.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Now that’s something to be excited about!