Who’s Coming to Town?
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the radio airwaves are consumed with holiday tunes. This morning I was quite entertained on my drive to work with “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout, I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is comin’ to town…
I couldn’t help but think of the pressure that we put on children around Christmas to be good, behave, and do NO wrong…or you’ll end up with coal in your stocking, and your name on the feared naughty list.
Far too often we think of God like this—a Santa Claus who is looking down at the world waiting for us to foul up, then put us on the naughty list of terrible sinners, hopeless failures.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. And the true meaning of Christmas couldn’t be further from the idea of moral behaviour determining which “list” you get on—naughty or nice.
If this were the actual meaning of Christmas, we’d be in big trouble.
Romans 3:10 says,
“No one is righteous—
not even one.”
If we had to be worried about the “Elf on the Shelf” watching our every move, seeing if we prove to be good enough, righteous enough, meeting the “nice” list criteria—we would never make it!
But the Good News is, Christmas isn’t really about Santa coming to town, it’s about Jesus coming into this world.
The true meaning of Christmas is found in Jesus Christ.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”. – John 3:17
The reality is, the criteria for the spiritual “nice” list remains the same—God requires holiness. But God also knew that we would not be able to preform well enough is make it. So he sent Jesus. Jesus came in mercy and grace. He took our deserved punishment for being on the naughty list when he died for us on the cross. We can now live in the freedom of knowing that we are forgiven, and that our penalty of receiving death, and the “coal” in our stocking, is replaced with hope and eternal life!
Although we still deserve the naughty list—although we still misbehave and make mistakes—because of Christ’s finished work, God looks at us and sees Jesus. He sees us forgiven, clean and whole—because of the grace provided us by Jesus Christ.
This Christmas season, rest in knowing that God isn’t watching your every move waiting to put you on a naughty list. He is watching over you—forever pouring out his love, grace, and forgiveness.
That’s what it means when Jesus is coming to town.
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