Thursday, 8 October 2009

Jesus vs Father Christmas

I was on the way to a meeting after work this evening in a car with a couple of my colleagues.

Conversation somehow got turned to discussion of whether Jesus was a real person in history. Consensus was that he was, you'll be pleased to hear. I think it was on the back of conversation about how prayer is just an illustration of the power of positive thinking. (I think there's more to it than that, somehow...) However, what was alarming was how easily and apathetically they switched back and forth between whether Jesus is real compared to if Father Christmas is real.

How did it come to pass that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, that God the Son, the one who blamelessly gave his life and suffered the wrath of the Father in the most shameful, painful way could become such an object of ridicule? How could he be compared to Father Christmas?

I didn't react to this at the time. And thinking about it, I don't think in this situation it would have really been appropriate to react. They were only joking, but on reflection I've realised just how offensive and wrong it is to even joke about it. It should make me feel sick with grief and perhaps even anger that my Saviour should be thought about in such an irreverant way. It's not always appropriate to show this reaction, but it is right to feel it, and remember who this is! Jesus, who:

" ...being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.


MQ said...

Interesting thoughts. Why do you think it would not always be appropriate to show it? Don't get me wrong, it's not a criticism, as I tend to react in the same way as you. Still, I'm usually not sure I was right to do so when I think about it afterwards.

Lorna's Ark said...

Its a sign of the times we live in that Jesus is not even made known in so many homes and that santa takes the place of the true christmas miracle. Its a sign of our self indulgence and self importance that Christ should no longer be honored as He should be! Its so sad and I don't get mad enough about it that Jesus is made fun of and joked about when He should be recieveing all the praise and all the glory.

Scott Thomson said...

I think it's absolutely right to react in lots of circumstances.

I've only recently started at this job, and for one of the people in the car this would have been the first time he would know I am a Christian. I made it clear that I definitely believe Jesus is a real person and that I hope I made it clear that I think the comparison with Father Christmas isn't a comparison at all. I didn't show in any way that this offends me though. I just worry that it would have made them feel they never want to talk to me about my faith again.

I could be wrong, of course, and perhaps I should have showed more emotion in my reaction, or commented more on how terrible such a comparison is. It just didn't seem right in the situation - I guess you had to be there, haha. Perhaps if there was spite in their comments it would be different, or if they seemed to be trying to engage in such an interchange, but that was definitely not on their minds.

MQ = Martin Quested I'm guessing? If so, hi!, how are you?

And hello Lorna :). Thanks for your comment. Our lack of reaction is often shocking isn't - I think it's probably because we don't quite realise just how holy and glorious Jesus is?