Santa Christians – a reflection

Another Christmas has just passed, and as me and my Mrs were packing away the Christmas tree and decorations, sorting them and putting them into boxes where they belong, I asked myself the question, ‘I hope I am not putting Christ in the box with them?’

How can Christians put Christ in the box? When we get so passionate about Christmas and sharing the good news of Jesus, yet that passion does not carry on in everyday life and details, then we put Him in the box only to be revealed next Christmas. This is what I mean by ‘Santa Christians’. The commercial image of St Nicholas (AD 270-343) (known to us as ‘Santa Claus’) only comes once a year around December (although some shops stretch this to early autumn in the attempt to sell more merchandise!).  Those in that industry or business, including myself for Church purposes, know that Santa only gives a short visit once a year at Christmas; it would be strange for us to see children going to see Santa in say March or April.

But are Christians called to be good, just and generous, and share the good news for just one season? Scripture admonishes us, “I give you this charge: preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:1-2 NIV). Paul here encourages Timothy to discharge the full duties of his calling as an Evangelist always. As Christians we must ensure that we do not just care for the poor and the marginalised at Christmas, or confine our evangelism and social action projects to that period of the year.  Our passion for social justice and concern must be for all seasons, and so must our character reflect that of Christ all year round. It is easy for many of us to say “hello” to our neighbours at Christmas, but when January comes we go back to being cold and distant once again, a typical example of the individualism that so pervades our beloved city, and which we are also guilty of. It is convenient to give financially to the poor and needy in some troubled spots of the world during Christmas, therefore appeasing our guilt of consumerism, but that generous giving too often ceases when it is January.

This kind of attitude betrays the lack of discipleship that has crept into our Churches and lives. Christianity is a daily affair and as well as Christmas Jesus is interested in what we do every other day of the year. The call to deny ourselves and follow Jesus is an everyday commitment. So the challenge is this: don’t pack away Jesus and your Christianity with your decorations this year.

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About israelolofinjana

Rev Israel Oluwole Olofinjana is an ordained and accredited Baptist minister and has pastored Crofton Park Baptist Church (2007-2011) and Catford Community Church (2011-2013). He is currently the pastor of Woolwich Central Baptist Church, a multicultural church in south east London. He is Nigerian coming from a Pentecostal background. He holds a BA (Hons) in Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and MTh from Carolina University of Theology (CUT). Israel is the editor of “Turning the Tables on Mission: Stories of Christians from the Global South in the UK” and author of “Reverse in Ministry and Missions: Africans in the Dark Continent of Europe” and “20 Pentecostal Pioneers in Nigeria” He has spoken in a number of conferences regarding reverse mission and Black Majority Churches (BMCs) and has also contributed to academic journals and Christian magazines on the subject of Black Majority Churches (BMC) in Britain. He is currently co-opted as a member of the Baptist Union Council. Israel is also one of the Directors of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World an initiative design to train and equip pastors and missionaries from the South. He is a member of the Global Connections council. When he is not preaching or writing he is playing with Lego! He is happily married to Lucy who works as an administrator and research co-ordinator for the Evangelical Alliance. She is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), earning a BA in Social Anthropology and International Development. Lucy loves baking and watching movies!
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One Response to Santa Christians – a reflection

  1. Tope Ogunlowo says:

    Very Intresting. Here to consolidate the findings of the the researches let cast a glance at and evaluate history. With these we may not repete but learn from other’s mistake.

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