Friday, December 9, 2011

Spirituality in "The Santa Claus 2"

The sequel to “The Santa Clause” is not a great movie. Then again, it is simply continuing the trend of the first film aiming to be a minor seasonal entertainment. It also shares with that first film a surprising insight into things that matter—into illustrating some spiritual truths that are worth considering.

In this case it is the sub-plot involving the mechanical replacement for Santa Claus. It is intended to merely be a place holder for the real Claus while he is away trying to find his missus. However, the mechanical Santa begins to take his responsibilities too seriously. He insists that all rules and guidelines be followed precisely and seriously hampers the work that had been running so smoothly. As a machine operating legalistically he fails to entertain any room for grace and decides that all the children in the world deserve only coal for Christmas.

This is a good illustration for the dangers of religion. Humanity’s efforts to measure up to God’s standards on its own always miss the reality that God is a God of grace and that true redemption is a gift and not earned. Love not legalism is both the true source and true guideline for life as God intends it.

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