Santa in the Manger

stars (Photo credit: patti haskins)

 Do you believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? But if you cannot, then believe me because of what you see me do. (John 14:11)

The Christmas season is in full swing in my part of the world. I’ve been to several great musical productions at churches, listened to community choirs, and attended feasts provided by Sunday school classes. There are not enough Fridays and Saturdays in the month of December to hold all the activities spurred on by the birth of Jesus.

Each year, an American municipality gets my Dumbest Holiday Ruling award. This year’s award goes to a town in Texas which extended the anti-Jesus sentiment by prohibiting the wearing of green and red clothing in the public schools.

I’m sure this makes sense to the people who live and legislate there, but it doesn’t to me. I still live in a town  where we can say “Merry Christmas” in public places and put up tacky decorations without fear of retribution. Life is good where I live. Red and or green are in.

I could get cynical about the craziness; someone actually got offended because the red and green reminded them of Christmas. We can print Christmas on a calendar, let our kids out of schools on His birthday, and allow our senators and congressmen to have long vacations around the 25th of December but don’t anyone even allude to why these absences were scheduled in the first place. Talk about the proverbial elephant in the room; Jesus Christ has been handcuffed, booted out, and placed in the witness protection program.

But, knowing that the Word of God does not return void, I take great joy in the fact that the bickering and dissension is taking place. It gives us who believe yet another opportunity to tell the greatest story about God’s greatest gift.

As far as I know, there are no snowmen or Christmas trees in the Bible, yet both of these are on the chopping blocks throughout the country. I guess the algorithm is something like: snowmen lead to Santa which leads to red which leads to green which leads to Christmas trees which leads to penguins which leads to snowflakes which leads to stars which leads to nativity scenes which leads to Jesus. This thinking is totally backward because He existed before any of these things. He has allowed these wonderful symbols to fill our lives with joy and rest so that believers can show Him to the world as they celebrate trying to avoid Him.

John records Jesus saying something like: even if you don’t want to believe I am who I say I am, consider the miracles and great works you have seen me do. He has given the world a pause in its madness to see family and friends. His birthday is a great excuse to give gifts to everyone you love. He causes choirs to work overtime to display their God-given talents. He gives fortunate people a great excuse to share out of their abundance with those less fortunate. And can we dismiss the plethora of pastries and special goodies prepared only once a year to be enjoyed and savored? What’s not to love about all of these things?

For God so loved that He gave. Those who fear exposure to Him are the ones we need to love the most to show Him to them. So, if you are putting out cookies and milk for Santa this year, pray for those who are missing the sweetness of His fellowship and the milk of His Word. He is willing to drop down anyone’s chimney with the greatest gift of all: Himself.


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