While watching the video for Where is the line to see Jesus? performed by Becky Kelly at http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=OExXItDyWEY&vq=medium, I thought about one Thursday evening in my small town when my daughter and I watched the Christmas parade. We listened as the local high school marching band played Christmas music. We waved to those we recognized waving to us from decorated floats designed by the business or organization named on the side. We admired the different representations of the birth of a Savior given by local churches. We laughed as clowns walked by, doing silly stunts. It was a night of amusement and fun.
The anticipated appearance of the jolly character wearing the red suit and white beard came last with the fire truck serving as a carriage, broadcasting his arrival with the sound of sirens and horns. Clearly, Santa is the “reason for the season” in the minds of thousands of children who hope for something magical to happen in December. His name alone generates more revenue for department stores than any other fictional character. He is the main character of most holiday movies shown on family television. He represents the “magic” of Christmas. After all, without Santa, what would be the point of the season?
As a Christian, I still believe the real “reason for the season” is the celebration of the birth of a Savior – Jesus Christ- for whom the name of the holiday was derived. I try to refrain from getting caught up in the world’s rendition of the “Holiday” season. I taught my children that all blessings come from God and not Santa Claus. I understand that the world which does not yet know the love of a Savior needs something else in which to put their hope. However, as Christians, I feel that we are to be representatives of the One from whom true hope springs. That is why I was shocked to realize that the man wearing the red suit and white beard on top of the fire truck was indeed the pastor of my church. His wife proudly sat beside him wearing a read “Santa hat” and waved to the crowd as well.
After sitting through numerous Sunday morning services and receiving what I believed to be messages from the Holy Spirit, I do not doubt that his heart has been in the right place. However, I fear that the churches (as a whole) have become too involved with the world’s adaptation of Christmas. I can’t help but think about a birthday party and how disappointed the person would be if it was given in honor of their birth, and then the main attraction turned out to bring attention to someone else. What if the one drawing all of the attention to another person was in fact a trusted loved one of the honoree? Wouldn’t the loved one’s loyalty then be in question? As Christians, who are we really serving? God or man?