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Santa’s Birthday?

It may seem like a strange title for an article in a Christian magazine at Christmas time; but think about it. Most of us would rather deal with the Santa persona than the Christ image. God never told us to celebrate His Son’s birthday. That was man’s decision. I don’t think God minds that we celebrate it. If there is a problem in God’s mind it probably has to do with the way we celebrate it. I mean, it’s Christ’s birthday not ours, so why do we get all of the presents?

The Santa legend is a very convenient focus at this time of year. He shows up for a few weeks and doesn’t expect much accept that naughty and nice judgment and we don’t pay any attention to that. When the season is over he disappears until next year. On the other hand, Christ hangs around all year and expects a major gift from us. He wants our whole life. Whether we pay attention to it or not, Christ’s judgment of whether we are naughty or nice is both real and important. The consequences of being nice or as the Bible says, righteous, are lasting and eternal. They are not always material blessings, sometimes they are, but that is nothing to compare with the blessings or gifts Christ gives us. However, if we continue to be naughty, continue to sin, the consequences are scary beyond belief and they are always eternal.

There is another thing to look at in the Santa verses Jesus focus, at this time of year. It is Christ’s birthday, but Santa gets all of the attention. Or should I say we get the attention by focusing on a mythical character that gives us things. Remember that this is a birthday celebration and we don’t even know when Santa was born or who he really was. And, of course, Santa never died or made a sacrifice for us. We do, however, know that Jesus was actually born and even though we probably have His birth date wrong His birth is still a fact. We also know when He died and that He did it willingly so we could live. We also, those who believe, know that He is still alive and that He will not disappear when the holiday season is over. He will always be with anyone who has faith that He is in their hearts.

So what does all of the above discussion have to do with merry Christmas and happy New Year. The point is that it is Christ’s birthday and He will not disappear at the end of the season. He will never fly away in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. He will always be with us and in us if we will make room for Him in our hearts and not just under our Christmas tree.

"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (John 14:15-21)

Now that is what Christmas and every other day of our lives are about. Jesus had a birthday that we celebrate. Because of that we can receive the gift of life today and always. We don’t have to write a letter to anyone with our Christmas list. “That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9) That is the true message of Christmas and it lasts all year long and beyond.

Jesus gave us a very expensive gift, His life. Now it is our turn to give a Christmas gift to someone else. Share your love, your time and even your life with someone who needs them. The greatest gift that you can give to Christ this season is for them to look at you and see Jesus.

 

By Pastor Robert Rathbun