Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Theology of Santa

Santa came to my church today. I wish I had my real camera! He was instantly recognizable; everyone knows what St. Nicholas looks like! And he did; he was! Kind yet penetrating blue eyes, white beard, red shirt, old fashioned glasses. He was indeed Santa and he was at MY church!

Katie was the first child to see him. All by herself she timidly went up to him, told him all she wanted. Then she went and got her brother and her friends to shyly show him Santa.

My 10 year old, Conor, has only stopped believing 2 years ago. He's "figured it out" that it's not true yet is true in other ways. He also went and spoke to Santa. He says he's a firm believer. He believes yet he knows it's not true. (at least I'm pretty sure he knows it's not true!) In the car today he asked why rich kids get better presents than other kids.

Reid is 6 and a skeptic... he has a lot of questions, all quite logical. How can Santa make all that toys? How can a sleigh fly with reindeer? How can Santa go to EVERY house? How can he fit down the chimney? Yet, seeing Santa this morning, he went right up and told him his (rather lengthy) list. He wants to believe. Sometimes does but then goes through all the reasons he can't. (BTW, Reid's the baby crying in both the photos)

I bring this up because I wonder.... when it come to Creation.... what is true and what is "right" for a Christian to believe? I don't want to "know" it's not true but believe anyways. That seems so wrong.

For me, If I don't believe that the Creation story is real, then why should I believe that everything else the Bible says is real too?

It's a hard one. To say that the creation story is true doesn't seem to be credible in this day and age where science casts so much doubt, yet to admit that the creation story is not credible opens the door to if the whole Bible is credible.

I know that faith is believing even when we can't make sense or see something, and yet, I don't want to be a person that knows that it may be untrue but believing anyways because I'm supposed to or because that is what faith is. There's a wonderful line in Miracle on 34th street that I recall. It states " Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to."

Sometimes I wonder if others view my faith in Christ as shallow as they do faith in something like Santa or the tooth fairy. We claim the Bible as our authority and yet doesn't that hinge on it's being true?

What do you think? About Santa? About Creation? About truth and faith?


  1. About Santa, I don't believe in him, but it is cute how little kids get all excited about Santa, except for when they don't want to talk about Jesus's birthday, but could go on and on about what they want. Still, they're young, and have lots to learn, we all do.
    About Creation, I believe that Creation is true. Many times in the Bible it is said that the earth was made in six days, and 2 Peter 3:5 says that "the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God." We know that the earth was created by God's words in 6 days. We don't know what the term day means. We know God made the world, but other than by His words, we don't know. We weren't given more information in the Bible, because if we were, we wouldn't understand it...we still don't understand a lot of it!
    When I think of faith I remember Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Our faith doesn't have to make sense, but we need to be sure of it. Also, faith is trust in something, but the faith is only as valid as the object/person it is placed in, so it doesn't matter how strong the faith is if the object of it's trust isn't true.
    About truth, God's Word is truth, and He is the basis for all truth. There is only one absolute truth, and no matter what people say or believe, they cannot change what is true.

  2. Sarah, I agree with you, however for me, I've grown up with all the pat answers of what I'm supposed to know and right now I'm rather enjoying re-examining them in a different light. The good thing is I always come back to the absolute truth I know of, but look at it in a different way of society that doesn't embrace any absolutes except the insistence that there are no absolutes!

    I thank you for your well thought out, articulated comment. I agree and am thankful for your contribution.