anatomy of a favorite Christmas song


Take a moment to consider the song ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ in light of  how it relates to Jesus …

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He’s making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

Sorry Santa, Jesus is already IN Town and He is IN Me …

A few personal observations from the song and otherwise:

  1. Obviously,  Jesus is already IN town … every moment of every day for all of eternity.  Santa is more like the absentee dad who sees his kids only on holidays … and you single moms know what I am talking about.
  2. Jesus wept … so crying is not naughty.
  3. Our motivation for good behavior is not because Santa Claus is coming to town … that is a self-focused motivation.  Our good behavior is an outcome of God’s transforming work in our hearts … the behavior He desires is one born out of the heart … not one born out of a desire for reward.
  4. Jesus knows every person’s name … Santa does not.
  5. The Book of Life trumps Santa’s list every single time.
  6. Yes indeed, you better watch out … but that is so you do not miss or lose the Gift of Life NOT a life of gifts … material that is.
  7. Psalm 139 reveals that God is the omniscient and omnipresent one … not Santa.
  8. It’s for God’s sake and because of God’s love, not for goodness sake, that we are called to be good and yet … even Jesus refused to be called good by the rich young ruler.

You may think I am somewhat radical regarding the whole Santa thing … if so, thank you.

Heaven help the child who does not embrace the Santa Claus myth … he or she is under constant peer pressure … no, actually quite frequently it is constant adult pressure.

See if some of these phrases sound familiar to you …

‘If you’ll just believe in Santa …’

If you’ll just put your faith in Santa …’

‘Then Santa will come into your house on Christmas Eve and leave you gifts …’

‘The spirit of Christmas … or Christmas spirit …’

Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, ‘God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’ John 4:24 (NASB) Therefore any other spirit we attribute to a person, a school, a nation, a holiday, etc.  is a spirit at odds and in direct competition with God and … You shall have no other gods before Me.  Exodus 20:3 (NASB)

No doubt, many adults expend more evangelistic time, effort and money in attempting to get children (and not only their own) to believe in Santa … than they do in leading them to faith IN Jesus.  In fact, I can’t help but wonder if in this age and in this country more children believe in Santa than believe IN Jesus … I’m pretty certain I know the answer … and it scares me.

If I am going to talk to my children and grandchildren about believing, about faith, about the Spirit, about an indwelling presence (not presents and not a visit), about gifts … then in all those things the object … the focus of my love and affection is going to be Christ Jesus … all IN all.

Let’s wrap this up for the day.

Just in case you are wondering what prompted this post …

I am sitting in church Sunday morning with my wife and young adult daughter.  We got there early and were listening to the background music playing before the worship service began.  Initially there were a couple of instrumentals from ‘Charlie Brown’s Christmas’, then two background songs out from the start of worship, guess what song plays?

‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’

I know what some of you are probably thinking … I know I did as did my wife and daughter.

But …

God showed up in the worship … God showed up in the teaching … God revealed Himself.

My wife told my daughter as SCICTT played, ‘Wouldn’t it make more sense to have background music playing like ‘Joy to the World’ or ‘Come Let Us Adore Him’?

Guess what two Christmas worship songs we sang?  Yep …

Abide IN Christ Jesus, His love and His words!!!

Note: This post was originally written and published in December 2009.



About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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