The Gospel According To Santa
What a great opportunity Christmas brings to get your children, the younger ones at least, to do as they are told! You see if you are on the naughty list you will not get the gifts.
We are told in the gospel according to Santa - You'd better watch out. Santa makes a list, checks it twice, he finds out who has been naughty or nice and he is coming to your town. He sees you when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.
Santa says if you are good you will be rewarded. Santa it seems wants you to earn your presents. Is that the message of Christmas? Will you withhold presents because of bad or unacceptable behaviour? If that were the case our economy would collapse, after all, who really deserves merited gifts.
The message of Santa is the complete opposite of the wonderful saving message of God through Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians that we cannot take credit for our salvation, it is the free gift of God. It is not a reward for the good things we have done so none of us can boast about it.
What are we teaching our children if we are telling them to be good for goodness sake? Many presents are already bought and wrapped (no thanks to me) and even if the children's behaviour falls below par they will still get their gifts, its already done even if they have not done much to deserve it. The gifts are already bought, you cannot pay for what is already been paid for.
The kind of goodness we learn form God is that our place on the nice list doesn't depend on what good we have done. It is the good that Jesus has done that reserves us a place on the nice list. Our response to the gift already given is surely to want to be good, but that doesn't earn what has already been paid for.
Our children need to know that being naughty is not acceptable. We need to understand that without God's help we are all on the naughty list. In the book of Romans we read that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Which message do we really want our children to hear? Is it one that certainly does not apply to us? I for one have done nothing to deserve my salvation from sin.
Our children need to know there is a naughty list but it is not the end of the story. The story begins with God's goodness, a goodness that he imparts to us because we would never be good enough. Thank God for his wonderful gift of Jesus who was born to die on our behalf that we may receive the gift of eternal life no matter how naughty we have been or nice we might be. It is because of God's goodness we can be saved.
Our next Coffee Morning at the Fellowship Centre will be Thursday 5th October from 10am - 12 noon. This is open to everyone who is available to attend.