I’m feeling a little schizophrenic, a little confused; and in wrestling with some of my own thoughts, a little legalistic too. And I don’t like feeling that way. I guess a few words on blogsville will help me air my thoughts and share the conundrum I am facing.
This being the Christmas season, the standard Christian phrases are making its rounds on Facebook and church posters. The two most popular, I surmise, are “Jesus is the reason for the season” and “Without Christ, there is no Christmas”. And so, all Christians say a resounding “AMEN” to these statements. After all, when it comes to Jesus vs Santa, it is a no-brainer, right? Of course, Jesus wins! And to prove the point, a recent post from Matt Walsh “Who needs Santa when you’ve got Jesus?” garnered thousands of SHARES and LIKES.
If that is what we Christians are trying to tell the world, that Jesus, and not Santa, should be celebrated, why do we still see so many Santa-ccessories in churches and Christian Christmas parties? This is what I don’t get! Okay, at this point, I can really sense all the Pharisee-arrows pointed at me. But before you release those arrows, would you pause for a moment to think about it?
Here we are, shouting and declaring that no other name should be exalted above Jesus. And especially at Christmas, we are desperately (or at least that is the impression we give) trying to reclaim the season for Jesus. And as soon as we do that, we put on Santa hats to create that Christmassy feeling!? Duh? No?
Imagine guests who visit. They hear us singing about Jesus but see us donning red and white outfits. Mixed signals, no? On the one hand, we take our stand that we are not for Santa. But on the other hand, we dress like him. Confusing, no? Friends join us for Christmas services, and greeters and ushers with Santa hats welcome them. Odd, no? Did they make a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in the North Pole Community Church? So, are we promoting Santa? Or no Santa?
Of course, this discussion (debate?) can go on. And it has, for the longest time. Others will then question the appropriateness of the Christmas tree, hollies and mistletoe. I guess we will spare Rudolf the hot seat since he already has enough attention with a red nose. On that note, if people can believe that reindeer fly, why do they find it so hard to believe in the virgin birth of the Christ-child? But I digress.
I guess these Christmas “symbols” are here to stay as are my feelings of schizophrenia. I don’t really want to be a spoil-sport as if I don’t know how to have some fun. And yet, I wonder how others will react when I politely decline anything Santa the same way I say ‘no’ to a glass of wine? But if I play along, would I have compromised my Lord and Master, Jesus? Sigh.
If nothing else, what this exercise has demonstrated is how inconsistent we are. We pick and choose what we want, and we justify and rationalise our actions. And conveniently, the festivities of the season provide a mask for our duality. More importantly, we must ask, are we like that too for the rest of the year? Ho, ho, ho?
Related Post: Jesus be the Santa of my life?