If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
Welcome to another Terrific Tuesday, where we take a look at God’s word, His kingdom or His people to see what we can learn about ourselves, Him and/or our relationships with Him.
Last week, we talked about the music of the Christmas season. I mentioned that I don’t mind an occasional “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” but that I really preferred Christmas carols and music such as The Messiah.
Today, I want to talk about what the season means to me. When I was a child, it was all about Santa Claus and seeing what gifts we got—pretty much like most other families, I suppose. Our church would put up a Nativity Scene, and there would be the usual preaching and Sunday School lessons about Jesus’s birth, but the significance of His birth was never really explained, and I was a lot more interested in the gift part.
A few years ago, I heard a sermon about lies we tell our children. The preacher singled out Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. His thesis was that we do a major disservice to our kids by telling them to believe in these unseen beings and then later on admitting to them that they don’t really exist. He asked how we could expect our kids to believe in God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, who are also unseen, when we had tricked them about these other unseen beings.
Wait. Pipe down. I know you didn’t intentionally mislead your children. I didn’t intentionally mislead my daughter, either. But what effect does it have on the mind of a child when we assure them for years that something is real and then finally admit to them that it’s not? Wouldn’t that tend to create doubt in their minds when we tell them other things or people they can’t see are real?
My daughter got over it and is a strongly committed Christian. I’m sure most of your children have gotten over it, too, but I wonder if we wouldn’t have served them better and avoided creating doubts in their minds if we’d started talking about Jesus’s birth instead of Santa Claus in the first place. About Jesus’s death and resurrection when they were toddlers rather than making up this magic rabbit.
I see nothing wrong with giving our kids gifts. I love to give gifts to our kids and grandkids. But why don’t we give the gifts as a celebration of Jesus instead of Santa Claus? Why muddy the waters by bringing him into a season that should be about Him?
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