Jesus and Santa Claus are NOT the Same!
Now we’ll begin a closer look at the Christmas story as we spend this time of year focusing on the birth of Jesus. Most of the Christmas story is contained in Luke’s gospel. It is Luke’s gospel where we begin, just a little earlier than you might expect. Let’s begin with the beginning of the gospel of Luke, chapter 1 verses 1-4: Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. Though some look at the Christmas story as just that, a story, we know that the events that we read are in fact true and reliable. If the story of Jesus’ birth is not true, then there is no Jesus to worship. There is no salvation in Jesus and there is only human sentimentality and human actions associated with Christmas, sort of like the story of Santa Claus. By the way, if you read this blog and still believe in Santa Claus, perhaps we should talk!
In these verses we read that a man named Luke wrote the gospel of Luke. We read that he was not the only person to set down an orderly narrative of the events that we read about. We also know that Luke got some of his information from those who were with Jesus from the beginning, those who were eyewitnesses. I wonder, though I can’t be sure, if Luke got some of his information from Mary herself? Anyway, Luke closes out this section with these words in verse 4: “that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.” The word “certainty” means a lot to me. When I read about shepherds, a star, wise men, a manger, and angels, I don’t have to wonder whether or not these people and events really happened. I KNOW they happened. God’s word is true and Luke wants to remind everyone of this.
As we walk through the Christmas story we need to remember that it is not really a “story” at all, but an event, a real event involving real people, real places and a real God. Jesus and Santa Claus are not the same. Jesus is real!