Summary: Santa has many of the characteristics of God. But in many people’s minds, God is like Santa. This salvation Christmas sermon dispels many popular myths about God and how he deals with our sin.
Is God Like Santa Claus?
December 4, 2011
A PowerPoint presentation with some pretty humorous slides to compliment the message is available by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (I don’t think I originated the idea and skeleton of this sermon. If anyone know who the originator is, I would be happy to attribute. However, the flesh of the message is mine.)
TEXT: Romans 3:24 –”Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Later we’ll look at verses 23-26, so keep your Bibles open here.)
If it weren’t for kids, Christmas wouldn’t be half as fun as it is.
JOKE: One Sunday a Sunday School teacher asker her students to draw a Christmas picture of the Holy Family—that is, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. Most of her kids drew conventional pictures like Jesus in the manger, Joseph and Mary riding a donkey—that kind of thing. But Johnny’s was an airplane with four heads sticking out the plane’s windows. She said, “Johnny, I see Joseph, Mary and Jesus. But who’s the fourth person?” “Oh,” said Johnny, “That’s Pontius the Pilate!”
JOKE: One time a boy forgot his lines in a Christmas pageant. His mother was on the front row to help him and she tried gesturing and mouthing his lines, but nothing worked, creating an awkward silence. Finally she leaned forward and whispered the cue, “I am the light of the world.” He beamed and with great feeling shouted, “My mother is the light of the world.”
Speaking of kids, let me say before I begin that if you have children in the service who have not been told the truth about Santa Claus and you don’t want them to know yet…you need to take them to Children’s Church now. – You have been warned.
Let me begin today’s message by posing a question to You—Is God like Santa Claus? I submit to you that in many people’s eyes, God IS like Santa Claus, and because of that, they have a very inaccurate picture of who God is and what He is like.
Now, we know that in many ways Santa Claus is like God.
• Santa knows everything. – “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”
• Also, Santa is a moral judge. – “He’s making a list, checking it twice. Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.”
• Third, Santa has supernatural helpers. God has his angels. Who does Santa have? [PAUSE]—FLYING REINDEER! “Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!” says St. Nick in the famous poem. And don’t forget about good old Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
• Finally, Santa is everywhere, like God, right? Ask any kid; he’ll tell you.
Illus. – When our youngest son, Allen, was about three, I told him that there’s really no such thing as Santa Claus, but it’s fun to pretend. Well, he was no a dummy. He said, “Uh, huh. Yes there IS a Santa Claus ’cause I seen him.”
I said, “You saw him? Where did you see him?”
“At the mall and Wal-Mart AND downtown!”
Hey, how can you argue with that?!
So Santa’s a lot like God, but that’s not my point today. I want to flip the coin and see that in the eyes of many people God is like Santa Claus. That’s the main reason people are so confused today in their thinking about God. They’ve substituted the real God of the Bible with a mythical god much like Santa. Let me show you what I mean, and in the process we’ll learn what God is really like.
I. FIRST, LET’S COMPARE SANTA’S PRESENCE AND GOD’S PRESENCE.
Think first about Santa’s presence: He visits kids one day a year, but spends 364 days in a white place called the North Pole. And he secretly watches and keeps record, but he gives no help in daily life.
Many people have a similar idea about God’s presence: They see Him as some bent-over old man with a long, white beard who lives in a white place called heaven. And, yeah, maybe He’s more or less keeping record of things, but He’s not really present and active in our everyday lives.
The truth of the matter is, that’s NOT the God of the Bible. What is the God of the Bible like?
• Number 1, He is no less present in one place than another.
This is called the “omnipresence” of God. This is not the pantheistic, Eastern idea that God IS everything—that you are god, I am god, this building is god, the grass is god. The teaching of the Bible is that God is distinct from and transcendent over His creation, yet at the same time, WHEREVER you go throughout the universe, you are ALWAYS in the immediate presence of God!