You remember the plot of “The Santa Clause”, the 1994 Christmas film starring Tim Allen? Old St. Nick arrives on the roof of a man named Scott Calvin’s house only to trip and fall to his death. Calvin checks on Santa, puts on his garb and finishes his route.
After the night is over Calvin visits the North Pole and finds out, due to a hidden clause, he is actually obligated to become the new Santa. Despite his protests he actually begins transforming into Santa over the course of the year to hilarious effect.
“The Santa Clause” is arguably a Christmas classic at this point (despite the two abysmal sequels which followed it). But is there really a deeper message hidden inside the holiday fluff?
Think about it like this. Tim Allen’s character steps in after Santa dies to take on his duties. Despite no prior experience, he is able to accomplish the tasks set before him through some greater power he can’t quite understand.
Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing as followers of Jesus?
After His death Jesus charges His disciples to follow in His footsteps making disciples out of all the nations. His final commandment on this earth to anyone who wants to follow Him is pick up where He left off.
Much like Scott Calvin must take up the costume, the reindeer and the work of Santa, so too are we called to take up the cross of Jesus, carrying out his teachings generation to generation.
And just like Tim Allen’s character must leave his former job and desires behind we too must put aside our own desires, dying to self so that we may live in Christ.
Once we accept the challenge God equips us in unexplainable ways along the way. He gives us strengths and abilities we had no idea we were capable of.
The only difference is that, unlike Tim Allen’s character who became the new Santa Claus, we do not become Jesus when we follow Him.
Though we are not Jesus, He will equip us to be His hands and feet in this world.
This is the clause of the great commission: to truly follow Jesus means to give up our own cause and to take up the cross. But by accepting the task we will find ourselves in possession of unexplainable power to carry out commandments we never thought we were capable of doing.