Keep Jesus Real !

Southaven, Ms

By: Mike Upchurch

Have you ever considered the parallels between Santa and Jesus? They’re quite obvious I know, but humor me. They both are constantly watching us. They both know when we’ve been good or bad. They reward good and they punish bad. They know when we’re sleeping. They know when we’re awake. They both keep a list of who’s been naughty or nice (Jesus’ list is called the Book of Life). They’re both pretty much invisible unless they want to be seen. And they both love kids and are jolly. (Yes, Jesus is happy!)

But here’s a real predicament; some kids grow out of believing in both! Some children begin to see holes in their childhood belief system and they start wondering. The kids who become ‘enlightened’ begin to doubt believing in Santa and start asking questions:
“How does he get into a house with no chimney?”
“If Reindeer don’t really fly, why do his?”
“Surely he could never make it to every house in every country in all the world in one night, could he?”
“Why is he in every department store?”
“How is it that he lives forever, and the only other person in our world living forever is Mrs. Claus and how did it happen that they found each other?? What are the odds???” Ok, that last one was me.

But they begin to think they may have been lied to by grown up people they trusted. They also may begin to doubt other things they may have been taught. What about the Easter Bunny? The Tooth Fairy? Elves? Or worse, what about Jesus?

We have a culture that embeds the idea that when we grow older we must put away fables and fairy tales. We should mature as we grow older. As we grow older, we are taught to believe that if we can’t see it, it mustn’t be real. When children are taught that the invisible world is real, and then later can’t prove invisible things as being real, who can blame them for then not believing in Jesus?

I’m would never advocate we tell our kids Santa isn’t real or that we debunk any other childhood dreams for that matter. I’m not ready for that world! Last week a Substitute Teacher in New Jersey was fired for telling first graders Santa wasn’t real! I doubt they would have been fired for saying Jesus isn’t real, but that’s another column. We must not let Jesus disappear as other wonders may have in their minds! We must keep our children in a learning environment that teaches God and Jesus and angels and Heaven are VERY real. Don’t let Jesus be cast aside as they grow older! Your children need to be in Sunday School. They need to be continually taught the stories of the Bible. They certainly need more information to go on than they get about Santa or other childhood fantasies. They need to be taught to pray. What’s more important…..time spent writing a letter to Santa or time spent teaching a child to pray? Do both! We must constantly keep alive the idea that Jesus is very real in our own lives. We need to pray at dinner. We need to pray with our kids at bedtime. Pray with your kids when they’re sick. If you and your family are currently unchurched, have conversations with your kids or grandkids about the Nativity and the reason that Jesus came. Where else will they get that information if not from you if they’re not in a Sunday School environment? Have conversations as to why we as Christians celebrate Christmas for reasons that differ from Hollywood. We need to make sure Jesus is talked about more than Santa this Christmas season! Their future faith depends on it!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike