Summary: If Santa were here today, what might he say baout the way we celebrate Christmas?
What Would Santa Say About Christmas?
Based on a sermon by Kevin Higgins
Nov. 27, 2005 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A Santa, to many of us, is the jolly old St. Nick of the holiday season.
1 Little is known of St. Nicholas for certain
a He did live in the early part of the 4th century in Myra (bishop).
b Oral tradition tells us he was put in prison by Diocletian for preaching the gospel & released by Constantine the Great (emperor) when Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire.
c He had an incredibly generous spirit
(IL) Legend of St. Nicholas learning of a poor man with 3 daughters , and no money or food. He had inherited 3 bags of gold from his parents. Snuck one bag in the window as a dowry for the oldest daughter (honorable marriage). When Nicholas learned this, he snuck the other two bags in so the other daughters could marry.
2 How did he turn into Santa Claus?
a Germany was among Protestant churches. Kris Kringle
aa Derived from Christ Kindle, meaning Christ Child
bb Kris Kringle-Miracle on 34th St.
b Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam introduced the legend to America.
aa Sint Nikolass or Sinter Klaas
bb Soon became Santa Claus
c Red suit, sleigh came in the 1800’s
aa Stories of Washington Irving & cartoons of Thomas Nast
bb Really took off with a poem in 1822 by Clement Moore: "Twas the Night Before Christmas."
B Over the next 5 weeks (taking Dec. 18th off), we’ll look at what the stars of the Christmas story would tell us today about how we celebrate Christmas.
1 Santa Claus
C If Santa were here today, what might he tell us about how to celebrate Christmas?
TS: Let’s look at two things Sinter Klaas would have us examine this holiday season.
I Take a look at our focus
A There are really two holidays that are celebrated on Dec. 25-Christmas & Xmas.
1 Xmas will be celebrated by everyone in the United States.
a Ribbons, bows, trees, lights, stockings, gingerbread men, jingle bells, reindeer, etc.
b Xmas has very little to do with Christmas
2 Christmas celebrates the coming of the Savior to the world
a Xmas is so loud/bright, it’s difficult to keep Christmas holy.
b It takes a tremendous amount of discipline for the Christian to keep the focus on the primary event at this time of the year.
B If the historical St. Nick was here today, he’d point us to Is. 7:14. "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NASB)
1 Isaiah, writing 800 years before Christ, told Judas king Ahaz a sign was coming (sign of encouragement, maybe judgment, too, if they didn’t repent & put their faith in God).
a Isaiah directed King Ahaz not to trust on foreign gods, idols, kings, but to trust in God.
b The sign was not in the virgin, but in the name of the child: Immanuel, or "God with us."
aa El=God, Immanu=with us
bb In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1,14 (NASB)
2 As you look at the signs of the season in Wal-Mart, Target, etc., the focus will not be on Jesus.
a There are steps we can take to keep focus.
aa Determine if you & your family are celebrating Christmas or Xmas.
bb Nativity in your decorations.
cc Share the Christmas story with your kids.
(IL) It’s not your birthday.
C Target controversy
II Take a look at our faith.
A Some parents work pretty hard at making Santa Claus the most real part of Christmas.
1 The firestation Santa Claus is a special memory in my childhood.
a Christmas Eve at 5:30-6:00 we would go to the firestation to see Santa.
b When I got home, Santa had already come & put presents under our tree!
aa I began to notice that Santa’s writing looked familiar.
bb Mom & Dad raised us with Santa at Christmas
2 Not everybody does Santa & that’s O.K.
B But if the historical Santa was here today, he would point us to 1 Peter 1:8. and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory 1 Peter 1:8 (NASB)
1 Peter had seen Jesus, but the majority of his readers had probably never laid eyes on Him.