Version 1: Jesus brings us good stuff like Santa

Version 2: Jesus offers us new life through the Holy Spirit


Let’s start by taking a look at the characteristics of each.


Version 1: Jesus is like Santa

>Jesus is born in a manger in a stable surrounded by his parents and some animals … with shepherds and Magi as special guests.

> We discover that Jesus is also the Messiah, the Christ.

> We are glad because finally someone will forgive us our sins.

> We are also glad because Jesus serves as our mediator between us and his often angry & judgmental Father (God).

> We are also glad because Jesus will be our own pathway to heaven.

> And, we are content with this rather secular and limited description of our new religious leader.

> Can we open Santa’s presents now?


Version 2: Jesus is God, and brings to us the Holy Spirit

> The birth of the Christ in Bethlehem offers us the opportunity to give “birth” to Him in our own hearts.

> Jesus has come to liberate us from our bondage to material things and worldly ways.

> Jesus is born to show us more fully the ways of our God, so that we will not be confused or misled.

> Jesus’s birth shows us the true Goodness of God, who holds all the wisdom and truth in the universe.

> God came to be born on earth to demonstrate that God doesn’t just live outside of us as a human being, but more importantly, Jesus lives within each of us, and we can never be separated from God.

> The babe in the manger proves that God is always just, and always unconditionally loving and forgiving.

> And, through Jesus, we come to believe that God is the one and only true god, and is the creator of all things, no exceptions.


Neither of these versions is necessarily bad or wrong in themselves. But what a difference it makes in your life, and the lives of your loved ones, when you can expand your Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus to incorporate the Spiritual Reality of Who God is, and what God has actually done for us with the birth of Jesus.


Many Christians still worship Jesus at Christmas as if Jesus was kinda like Santa (Version 1). If you’re one of those, then this Christmas is the time to stretch your perspective of what God has done and come to realize that Jesus didn’t come just to bring us some good stuff (forgiveness, salvation, a savior, etc.), but God came to us as Jesus to rescue us from ourselves and give us the freedom to be our true selves, as limited and fallible as we are.  


If you still have doubts, come to Bethlehem this year and see what God has done to save us and the world we live in.


Advent Blessings to All!

Meet me in Bethlehem,

Pastor Bob <><