Here Comes Santa Claus: A Theological Exploration

Here Comes Santa Claus: A Theological Exploration December 23, 2006

Is the reason I seem to notice theological themes wherever I go just because I am very holy . . . or do you think it is just because I have to write a sermon every week?

Not sure the exact reason, but it never fails . . . I can find some theological association in almost everything. Here’s one I noticed the other day.

Turns out there is something deeply theological about the song: “Here Comes Santa Claus”.

Did you know?

I made this incredible discovery at the Christmas Carol sing-a-long Calvary held for the Penn Quarter Neighborhood over lunch Wednesday. The neighbors were invited in and our Director of Music, Cheryl Branham, led us through songs sacred and not so sacred.

When we got the not so sacred ones I was ready–you know, “Jingle Bells” and all that.

Here’s what caught me off guard: the discovery that “Here Comes Santa Claus” contains deep and meaningful devotional possibilities. In fact, as we were singing, my colleague Eric Bebber (who recently graduated from McAfee School of Theology and thus is imminently qualified to spot theological themes in daily life as well) met my eye across the room. We nodded at each other in recognition that perhaps we had spent years overlooking the possibilities of using “Here Comes Santa Claus” in worship!

Take a look:

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus Lane.
Vixen, Blitzen, all his reindeer
Pulling on the reins.
Bells are ringing, children singing,
All is merry and bright.
Hang your stockings and say a prayer,
‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.
Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Riding down Santa Claus Lane.
He doesn’t care if you’re a rich or poor boy,
He loves you just the same.
Santa knows that we’re God’s children,

That makes everything right.
Fill your hearts with Christmas cheer,
‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.
Well, here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Riding down Santa Claus Lane.
He’ll come around when the chimes ring out
It’s Christmas morn again.
Peace on Earth will come to all
If we just follow the light
Let’s give thanks to the Lord above,
‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight!

After a full week of trying desperately to create worship experiences for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve that would bring new and innovative celebrations of the season to bear on a holiday we celebrate every single year, I wish I had had more notice of the deeply spiritual overtones of this Christmas classic.

Alas, it’s too late to change the bulletin and replace “Silent Night” with “Here Comes Santa Claus”. Maybe next year . . . .

In the meantime, take the deep theology of this Christmas classic and live it, would you?: “Let’s give thanks to the Lord above ’cause Santa Claus comes tonight!”

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