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You better watch out

You better not cry

Better not pout

I'm telling you why

Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list

And checking it twice;

Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice

Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping

He knows when you're awake

He knows if you've been bad or good

So be good for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out!

You better not cry

Better not pout

I'm telling you why

Santa Claus is coming to town

Santa Claus is coming to town

 

My favorite Christmas Carol is “Joy to the World”. It seems to strike the appropriate chord for the season: “Let every heart prepare Him room”. Our first year at Grace Place we invited the church to go with us through the neighborhood across the street from the church to sing Christmas Carols. Joy to the World was the first song we sang at each home. You could see the sparkle in the eyes of the people as we would sing. The message of Christmas is that the Savior has come and that event should be received with great Joy. It’s the best NEWS mankind could have ever received.

 

So where does Santa fit into Christmas? I did not grow up where it snows in winter so my memories of Christmas rarely included snow. A few times growing up we had a winter storm around Christmas that would bring some snow. It would only last a day or two. I think snow looks lovely in pictures but if you were to ask me what would be my dream Christmas location I would want Jimmy Buffet’s Christmas Island…

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How'd ja like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island?
How'd ja like to spend the Holiday away across the sea?
How'd ja like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island?
How'd ja like to hang your stockin' on a great big coconut tree?

 

Yes please, thank you very much, I would like to hang my stocking on a coconut tree. I think Santa would locate me just fine on Christmas Island. Santa? You ask. It’s interesting that our world would develop the legendary character of Santa to capture a snapshot of Christmas in action. The picture painted of Santa is an ageless man whose sole purpose is to bring gifts to children. The song “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” indicates that Santa: “sees you when you're sleeping He knows when you're awake

He knows if you've been bad or good So be good for goodness sake!”

 

First, is Santa a threat to the meaning of Christmas? I don’t believe so. In fact, I think Santa embodies what our world hopes resides in every individual, namely goodness. The picture of Santa is the world’s wish that at least one time a year, mankind could set aside their differences and just do something good, something kind, something with no strings attached for someone other than themselves. Santa as a world view somewhat resembles what we as Christians know and believe about God.

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1      God is our Father/Santa called Father Christmas

2      God never sleeps and is omnipresent/Santa is said to see us sleeping

3      God sees our hearts and is aware of ever action/Santa is said to know if we have been good or bad

4      God is ageless/Santa is said to be ageless

5      God is GOOD/Santa’s stated purpose is to do good

 

I think there is remarkable evidence that Santa is the world’s attempt at painting a picture of God. Agreed, the world's picture is a stick figure when compared to Wonder and Majesty of God’s character. But for a world who has not seen or experienced God it tells us a great deal about the kind of God they hope to find.

It also reveals why they are struggling to find God: “You better watch out you better not pout, you better not cry, I’m telling you why Santa clause is coming to town”. Sadly, the world view of God is driven by what man can do, not what God has done in Christ Jesus. Man’s attempts to earn an audience with God, fail and disappoint. Jesus said: “No one is good--except God alone.”  (Matt. 10:18)

 

A relationship with God is based on His goodness not ours. We can never earn His favor by good works. That’s why Christmas is so wonderful for all of mankind. God came seeking us! God sent us a gift of goodness clothed in flesh, born of a virgin. This gift would satisfy our debt of sin, give us the ability to do good, bring us into relationship with our heavenly Father. That gift is Jesus. He is the light of the World. He brings Joy into a dark world.

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“JOY TO THE WORLD THE SAVIOR REIGNS!”

 

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