When Jesus Stopped Believing in Santa

When Jesus Stopped Believing in Santa December 18, 2014
© Ollyy/Shutterstock
© Ollyy/Shutterstock

The day after the first Shabbat in Advent,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus, who was eight years old,
To the Great Mall of Bethlehem.

There, in the middle of the huge indoor shopping complex,
Was a stately Christmas tree surrounded by wrapped gifts.
“I don’t believe in Santa anymore,” Jesus announced.
Joseph, startled, asked why.
“He’s too fat to get down the chimneys,” Jesus answered,
“And there are too many chimneys for him to go down, all on the same night.”
“But you leave him cookies every Christmas Eve,” argued Mary,
“And he always eats them, leaving just a few crumbs!”
“That’s why he’s so fat,” declared Jesus. “All those cookies!”
“So you do believe in Santa after all!” said Joseph, with relief.
“No, I mean you. You eat the cookies. That’s why you are so fat,” said Jesus,
Patting his dad’s belly with affection.
“Oh, and I don’t believe that you were a virgin when you got pregnant with me, either,”
Said Jesus to Mary.
“That’s not how babies get made. I read about it online.”
Joseph sighed. “Well, the wonder of Christmas was great while it lasted:
There’s nothing so precious as the dancing eyes of a child who believes in the magical and the fantastic!”
“Don’t get too sad about it,” answered Jesus, his face aglow with joy. “I still believe that I am God!”

Jim Burklo is Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. Visit his website here.

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7 responses to “When Jesus Stopped Believing in Santa”

  1. We all are Sons of God. Jesus tried to say that, and got killed for it.

    “I am a son of God,” well there’s the whole thing in a nutshell. If you read the King James Bible… You will see in italics, in front of the words “son of God,” the “son of God.” Most people think the italics are for emphasis. They’re not. The italics indicate words interpolated by the translators. You will not find that in the Greek. In the Greek it says, a son of God.
    It seems to me here perfectly plain. That Jesus has got it in the back of his mind that this isn’t something peculiar to himself. So when he says, “I am the Way, no Man comes to the Father but by me.” This “I am” this “Me” is the divine in us.
    We are sons of, or of the nature of God. Manifestations of the divine. This discovery is the gospel. That is the Good News. But this has been perpetually repressed throughout the history of Western religion…

    Alan Watts Jesus and His Religion

  2. Denying the fact of the virgin birth is the hot theme among liberal deconstructionists this year. I wonder how far toward apostasy they’ll have to go next year to maintain their shock value. Not much further to go, it seems. His deity is the final frontier.

  3. There doesn’t seem to a requirement that a Christian believe that Jesus was divine. Of course, there is such a requirement in some people’s mind but that’s just them. But Unitarians have always been among us.

    I wonder whether we’ll drop Hell or the Trinity first.

  4. As I understand it, there has been a relatively long tradition of Biblical scholars who have concluded that the accounts of virgin birth were neither credible nor essential. There’s more to it than just a “current fad.” (Not that I myself can claim any expertise on this, but I know I’ve heard about this topic for decades.)

  5. Oh–yes, the topic has been popular for 2,000 years. My point is that this year it is THE hot opinion. It is hinted at in nearly every article on red letter “christians” and pathetic/progressive “christian” channel.