God as Santa, Santa as God

A sure way to spoil a perfectly good Christmas

I was driving to work when a song on the radio caught my attention. In country style I was treated to a theological lesson: “God is our Santa Claus,” a voice crooned, “each and every day.” The words, sung half in a self-satisfied and half in a whiny and wistful tone, acquired for me the force of a revelation. I had a flashback to my three-and-a-half-year old son’s big eyes as he was rattling off his Christmas wish list: “I want a forklift, and a cane so I can walk like an old man, a dog bone, and . . . hey, dad, you know what, I also want a saxophone and a trumpet.” Images of frenzied Christmas shoppers came to mind—human beings like giant ants, racing in all directions and returning home with more stuff than they can carry.


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