Think about it: today’s Santa is the perfect deity for our day; he’s a god-man who is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, who judges and rewards good and bad behaviour. He is a vehicle of undeserved love, forgiveness and grace. Children are taught to adore him and to please him with sacrificial offerings of milk and cookies. He dwells far off in another realm but promises to return regularly to the benefit of those who believe in him. The fact that he’s also one of the great underpinnings of the world industrial economy doesn’t hurt his appeal.
But the story of Jesus? Well that’s a far different matter and one that could never be described in half-measures. The sweet infant sleeping on the hay in the Christmas crèche grows up to be the man who angers local religious authorities, is betrayed, abandoned and handed over for torture by disappointed friends, and dies a traitor’s cruel death. In the days and weeks after his death, hundreds of people are convinced of the reality of his resurrection – including his scared and scattered friends who ultimately hear him victoriously proclaim, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Thursday, December 23, 2010
A Christmas Post: Santa and Christ
Thoughtful piece by Patricia Paddey in today's National Post, The Nice Road to Santa and the Difficult Path to Christ. Here's an excerpt: