Reading and believing the Bible as God’s final word on what’s true and what’s not puts a whole new spin on listening to popular holiday songs. The other day (chuckling) my husband called and asked me if I’d ever considered the lyrics of “Here Comes Santa Claus.” I remember singing this with gusto as a child but never gave any thought as to whether to question its claims. Given, if the song would do its job and stick to relaying fantasy in a fun little holiday ditty, I’d have nothing to do but shrug my shoulders and say, “Whatever…” BUT, but since the writer went so far as to bring the name of the Lord into it, my Book says it’s fair game… so here goes, beginning with Verse One:
Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, Right down Santa Claus Lane; Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer, Pullin’ on the reins; Bells are ringin’, children singin,’ All is merry and bright; Hang your stockings and say your prayers, ‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight! (Okay, fine, if someone is really feels they want to sing this song, it could thus far be considered a lighthearted, relatively harmless little fairy tale about festive happenings the land of make believe.)
On to Verse Two… Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, Right down Santa Claus Lane; He’s got a bag that’s filled with toys, For boys and girls again; Hear those sleigh bells jingle jangle, Oh what a beautiful sight; So jump in bed and cover your head, ‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight! (Obviously “beautiful” is in the eye of the beholder; anyway, this is just more fanciful imagery about an imaginary giant gift-giving elf. This could be a good segway for me to go off on the fact that in the tradition of Santa Claus, children are encouraged to be good because Santa’s watching, rather than being good because God is watching… however, that doctrine is not clearly stated in this tune. Does it occur to anyone that this “jolly old elf” [imaginary as he may be] then bogarts the credit for bringing all the stuff that mom and dad actually toiled to provide — not to mention God who made it all possible?)
Beginning in Verse Three, the author determined to introduce some downright falty Theology and that’s where I’ve got to draw the line… Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, Right down Santa Claus Lane; He doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, He loves you just the same (It’s a feel-good, happy thought, that this imaginary elf loves everyone whether wealthy or destitute — and it even may make someone’s bummer wane for a season. However, that does not negate the truth that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, and therefore can’t love me, so this consolation is utterly empty and useless to me in the depths of the December blues. In reality, when I consider the truth that the living God knows everything I’ve ever done or thought, and even all of my sinful motives (all of which condemned me) – and still loves me just the same — not on account of anything I’ve done, or anything lovable in me, but because He chose to set His love upon me, on account of Christ alone… well, that’s a sound place to drop my anchor); Santa Claus knows we’re all God’s children, that makes everything right (First off, Santa doesn’t know anything because he doesn’t exist. And besides, if he did, I’d have to claim that he’s got his facts all wrong. It may not sound very “Christmasy,” but Jesus [God incarnate] Himself has made it abundantly clear that we’re not all God’s children… making some deeply sobering, even blood-chilling statements that most of us aren’t His. I could give the song a hearty Amen if it said we’re all God’s creatures, but the fact is that it just doesn’t say that. And so, no, what Santa claims to know doesn’t make anything right — because it’s not true. That we are all God’s children is a flat-out, feel-good lie that gives little children a false sense of hope and peace, and serves to mask the conscience of really nice people who are in desperate need of making peace with God); So fill your hearts with Christmas cheer (Huh? Egg nog? Hot toddy? I digress), ‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight! (Yeah!)
And finally, Verse Four… Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, Right down Santa Claus Lane; He’ll come around when the chimes ring out, That it’s Christmas morn again (Whatever…); Peace on earth will come to all (no, that’s another lie because [once again, I’m departing from the “Christmasy” spirit] the Bible clearly teaches that peace on earth will not come to all — God’s abundant peace is only offered to those upon whom His favor rests), If we just follow the light (Light? What light? Rudolph’s nose? We’re commanded to repent, obey and follow the Lord Jesus Christ — Who, in actuality, is the Light of the World, but the song doesn’t see fit to mention that tiny little [absolutely crucial] detail); So let’s give thanks to the Lord above, That Santa Claus comes tonight! (Why even waste the space, to call folks to thank the Lord for Santa coming… when Santa doesn’t exist and isn’t really coming? Wouldn’t God be right in deeming one insane, who thanked Him for something like that? Why not thank Him for all His actual blessings and provisions, of which we are all actually recipients, in reality — things like keeping the planet in its orbit, giving to us (and sustaining) our lives, providing food and shelter, sending rain upon the earth, for moderating our climate with the sun, moon and clouds? And what about thanking Him that Christ is coming again one day to judge the world and take God’s children into their eternal rest? Well, never mind that, right now we’re just having fun and thanking God for SANTA — because he loves us no matter what, and brings us everything we want.)
Seriously now… Why not rather thank the Lord that, He, God Almighty, humbled Himself to take on human flesh a little over 2,000 years ago in the form of His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, born as a baby to a virgin in Bethlehem, in fulfillment of the prophetic Scriptures?
Why not rather thank God that He, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, condescended to come to this earth and live a sinless life in perfect obedience and submission, in accordance with His own Law and God’s required righteousness (without which no one will see God)? Why not rather thank God that He, in the person of Christ, then offered Himself (through a gruesome execution on a wooden cross at the hands of evil men), as a substitutionary payment for the sins of all who would repent and place their trust in Christ? Why not rather thank Him that because God accepted this payment and raised Christ to life again to demonstrate that in this one act of perfect righteousness, the debt was paid in full, once and for all — so that all who repent of their sin and trust in Christ (trading their condemning guilt toward God for Christ’s perfect righteousness), would instantly be granted everlasting peace with God, be adopted by God the Father as one of His own dearly beloved children, receive complete forgiveness and cleansing of sin and guilt, and rest in God’s fail-proof, unalterable, irrevocable promise of life eternal — with the wrath of God against them having been poured out completely and undiluted upon His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ?
HO HO HO… indeed.