Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

22 December 2008

Santa Claus and the human meat pies of death

Santa Claus is a touchy subject in the church. Perspectives range anywhere from Fred Phelps "Satan Claus" to families who fully embrace the myth of the jolly red elf. I think, after years of discussion, my wife and I have decided that we're not going to make a big deal out of Santa Claus one way or another. We're not going to wrap up gifts from Santa or convince the kids that there is a real master-tinker at polar north with a minion of tiny slaves flying socially outcast deer around the world. In the words of George Sr. (Bush not Bluth)... "wouldn't be prudent at this juncture".

Instead, we're going to teach our kids about why the legend of Santa persists (and when you think about it... it's one of the only real myths that our society as held on to). Starting with Saint Nicholas. This guy's got some AWESOME stories. Like the story of why we give gifts. From Wikipedia:

"A poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment would have to become prostitutes. Nicholas decided to help him but being too modest to help the man in public, or to save the man the humiliation of accepting charity, he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the man's house. In one version the father confronts the saint, only to have Saint Nicholas say it is not him he should thank, but God alone."


Very cool. But not quite as cool as Saint Nick's other best know exploit... as someone who was used by God to raise the dead!

"A terrible famine struck the island and a malicious butcher lured three little children into his house, where he slaughtered and butchered them, placing their remains in a barrel to cure, planning to sell them off as ham. Saint Nicholas, visiting the region to care for the hungry, not only saw through the butcher's horrific crime but also resurrected the three boys from the barrel by his prayers. Another version of this story, the man murdered them, and was advised by his wife to dispose of them by turning them into meat pies. The Saint saw through this and brought the men back to life."


Go hard Santa Claus! Way to raise the dead!
Note to self: Be careful with meat pies.

It's doubtful that we'll get into the hookers and ground up human flesh aspects of Christmas with the kids... yet... but I TOTALLY love these stories. How much better is raising the trodden upon from the dead and investing in the destiny of young woman than the Coca Cola/Gene Autry/Dickens/Mall employee melange that we now have. A bit more cutting edge? Maybe?

Santa is nice. I don't dislike him. How can you? It's a nice little story that we've developed about a generous man who gives and encourages other to give, so I'll tell the kids that story too. We won't purify our temple on Santa purge or make him of any more importance that Frosty the Snowman, Clementine Oranges, or Nog in it's many forms.

But we will honor the God who empowered Santa's namesake to do what Jesus proclaimed in Luke 4:

18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.


In message right after that verse it says:

"He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, "You've just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place."


Saint Nicholas was a history maker and we still feel the ripples of his life today. The Christmas story turns my affections towards Jesus who is too marvelous for words... and reminds me of my role in writing the story of the history of the earth.

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