Why Santa Claus is Really God in 14 Bible Verses
Atheists seem to enjoy comparisons between Santa Claus and God as bearded old men who judge and gift with Christmas caprice, and therefore, neither can exist. More often than not, this comes from a sad case of misunderstanding both characters, but that’s a different story. On the flip side, plenty of Christians are sick and tired of the commercialization of Christmas, and understandably so, and excoriate the Santa mythos.
But I feel they’re throwing out the grandfather with the bathwater in an attempt to save the Baby, or Christ Child.
A couple of years ago, I wrote Defending Santa Claus: A Child’s Last Hope in which I explored the the irony of this modern myth, where Santa has transcended everything, and become a greater and purer symbol.
Santa has long and mixed heritage, starting out as a charitable bishop in Turkey, and then diluting into a mythical figure in early American history. Someone changed his vestments for burgher’s winter robes, and Macy’s/Coca Cola streamlined him into an advertizement.
In our post-Christian world, the Christian God Himself remains Santa-like in our childhood memories. I think that future cultures will look back at our civilization and marvel at the sleighbelled Pheonix that rose from the ashes of Christendom. With this selection of quotes from Scripture below, I submit that Santa has absorbed into his mythos all the attributes our tired souls hope a God would have.
He Knows If You’ve Been Bad or Good.
If our consciences condemn us, it is because God is above conscience, and nothing is hidden from him. (1 John 3:20)
Rewards the Good and Admonishes the Bad
But the Lord abides for ever on the throne of judgement he has prepared, 9 still judging the world rightly, still awarding each people its due… (Psalm 9:8-9)
Happy and Joyful
May God, the author of our hope, fill you with all joy and peace in your believing; so that you may have hope in abundance, through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Whatever gifts are worth having, whatever endowments are perfect of their kind, these come to us from above; they are sent down by the Father of all that gives light, with whom there can be no change, no swerving from his course; (James 1:17)
Obviously Loves Children
But Jesus said, Let the children be, do not keep them back from me; the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.(Matt 19:14)
You Never See Him Coming
You are keeping it clearly in mind, without being told, that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. (1 Thess 5:2)
Master of Time
But one thing, beloved, you must keep in mind, that with the Lord a day counts as a thousand years, and a thousand years count as a day. (2 Peter 3:8)
Where can I go, then, to take refuge from thy spirit, to hide from thy view? 8 If I should climb up to heaven, thou art there; if I sink down to the world beneath, thou art present still. 9 If I could wing my way eastwards, or find a dwelling beyond the western sea, 10 still would I find thee beckoning to me, thy right hand upholding me.(Psalm 139:7-10)
He is Undying
This Lord of ours, who fashioned the remotest bounds of earth, is God eternally; he does not weaken or grow weary; he is wise beyond all our thinking.(Isaiah 40:28)
He has Innumerable ‘Elves’
Then I heard, in my vision, the voices of a multitude of angels, standing on every side of the throne, where the living figures and the elders were, in thousands of thousands… (Rev 5:11)
They are Tireless and Joyful
Then, on a sudden, a multitude of the heavenly army appeared to them at the angel’s side, giving praise to God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in high heaven, and peace on earth to men that are God’s friends. (Luke 2:13)
Lives in the Inaccessible ‘North Pole’
The kingdom of God cannot be enjoyed by flesh and blood; the principle of corruption cannot share a life which is incorruptible. (1 Cor 15:50)
His Home is Everyone’s Dream
Things no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human heart conceived, the welcome God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Cor 2:9)
He has 12 Reindeer
Ok, so that’s a little more dubious. But hey, why not. :)
These are the names of the twelve apostles; first, Simon, also called Peter, then his brother Andrew, 3 James the son of Zebedee and his brother John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, 4 Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot… (Matthew 10:2)
Granted, by the time children are 5-7, they shouldn’t need Santa any more. He should become one of ‘the ways of the child’ that they have put off for the ways of the adult. The concept of Santa should never be a ‘lie’; Santa is a user-friendly version of God the Father. As children mature, their understanding of Santa shouldn’t die, but mature into a clearer vision of the truth. God provides the gifts, as always. Kids rarely ‘get’ God, but they do ‘get’ Santa.
Santa is greater than a saint. He is not a fabrication of silly minds, or only a commercialized excuse to replace the Christ-child. Santa transcends the Christ child, by absorbing Him. He is a symbol; purer, greater and simpler. He is the last hope for a pagan world, for children everywhere.
He is happy, holy and hearty, and he’s coming to town.
I’ll end with Chesterton’s words:
“What has happened to me has been the very reverse of what appears to be the experience of most of my friends. Instead of dwindling to a point, Santa Claus has grown larger and larger in my life until he fills almost the whole of it. It happened in this way.
As a child I was faced with a phenomenon requiring explanation. I hung up at the end of my bed an empty stocking, which in the morning became a full stocking. I had done nothing to produce the things that filled it. I had not worked for them, or made them or helped to make them. I had not even been good – far from it.
And the explanation was that a certain being whom people called Santa Claus was benevolently disposed toward me…What we believed was that a certain benevolent agency did give us those toys for nothing. And, as I say, I believe it still. I have merely extended the idea.
Then I only wondered who put the toys in the stocking; now I wonder who put the stocking by the bed, and the bed in the room, and the room in the house, and the house on the planet, and the great planet in the void.
Once I only thanked Santa Claus for a few dollars and crackers. Now, I thank him for stars and street faces, and wine and the great sea. Once I thought it delightful and astonishing to find a present so big that it only went halfway into the stocking. Now I am delighted and astonished every morning to find a present so big that it takes two stockings to hold it, and then leaves a great deal outside; it is the large and preposterous present of myself, as to the origin of which I can offer no suggestion except that Santa Claus gave it to me in a fit of peculiarly fantastic goodwill.”
Header Image is from ‘The Polar Express’
Help CatholicViral create inspirational and enriching material for a smartphone generation of Catholics!