Gifts for Bad People

2 Corinthians 8:9

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He sees you when you’re sleeping.
He knows when you’re awake.
He knows if you’ve been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake.
You better watch out.
You better not cry.
You better not pout,
I’m telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

Now, me speaking those words in that way it kind of make that song have a different meaning, don’t they? Maybe gives you the impression that I’m a voice over for a Christmas horror flick, rather than singing you a nice Christmas song about Santa Claus.

Now in some ways though the message of Santa is one that’s pretty terrifying. It’s basically this: be good or else. You better be on your best behavior, or all you can expect on Christmas is coal in your stocking. It’s kind of sad that that’s the message of Santa Claus, because it’s completely opposite the message of Christmas.

The message of Christmas is this that God gives a gift for bad people.
Yes, God sees you when you’re sleeping.
God knows when you’re awake.
He certainly knows if you’ve been bad or good,
but God sent Jesus for your sake.
That’s the message of Christmas. God sending the gift of his Son for even bad people.

God in his word tells us this and 2 Corinthians chapter 8 verse 9.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that through his poverty you might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

God tells us what he did for our sake. He sent Jesus by His grace. Jesus who came down from his throne on high and heaven to loneliness and poverty. To become part of his creation, to be born one of us, to literally be born in a barn. So that throughout his entire life he might live a wholly and perfect life and our place and die in a cross for our sins. And he did all of this not for the good, but for the bad.

For bad people, for sinners, like you and me. What reason we have then to look forward to Christmas. It isn’t this uneasiness “well, have I done enough?” or “am I good enough?” to receive gifts from Santa Claus, my parents, friends, or others, but is the joy in knowing that God has given a gift for sinful people like us.

Now maybe I wrecked your impression of that song. Maybe you’ll never hear those lyrics quite the same again, but may that be a reminder to you of the true message of Christmas. It’s not “you better be good or else” it’s rather God’s gift to you of His Son Jesus Christ. Amen.