There is no doubt that society is bustling with the typical Christmas season busyness, and it has very little to do with Jesus. So what is a Christian to do? Intuitively and biblically I think we know that we should not just enter into the worldly chaos and disregard the true Reason for the season. But sometimes we overreact. In our attempts to honor the name of Jesus during this season,, we actually tarnish it. In our efforts to ‘be ye separate’ we end up looking down our noses at those who don’t know the Savior this season and are caught up in everything else that has become American Christmas.
I do think there is another option. Missionaries around the world have adopted a method of reaching cultures who don’t know Jesus by using “redemptive analogies.” Those are things in the native culture, that knows nothing of Jesus, that can be used to point to Him and His work of salvation. Don Richardson’s Peace Child is a great example. So how do we do that today?
Below is a clip from a movie showing this Christmas. In this scene elves are involved in delivering toys and goodies to kids, with the precision of the military’s most skilled commandos. However, one kid turns up ‘naughty’ on the naughty-or-nice scanner. Quickly the elf turns the scanner to himself and it registers ‘nice,’ and the kid gets his goodies – a ‘redemptive analogy’. We can use that to point people to what Jesus did for us. We could never be righteous enough to earn salvation – residency in the kingdom of God, but Jesus forgives our sin and gives us His righteousness. Arthur Christmas Clip
We can do the same thing with Santa in a different way – by contrast. Santa comes ‘once a year’ from the ‘North Pole’ to give ‘gifts’ to those ‘who deserve them’ while they ‘sleep’. Jesus came once and for all, but is always available. He came from further than the North Pole. He came all the way from Heaven to give us the ultimate gift of salvation; one that we could never deserve, and we receive it when our faith is awakened.
Christian, rather than buying in wholesale to our culture, or hiding from it within the four walls of the church , why don’t we engage it where it is, and use it to point people to the true Reason for the season. Merry CHRISTmas!