The ACELC exists "to give a united voice against errors that are officially adopted in convention, tolerated, and/or promoted in the LCMS.”

May the Gospel Fill You with Joy This Christmas


I inherited some old issues of the Concordia Journal. In one of them (CJ 22:4, 1996), H. Armin Moellering points out that Santa Claus says Ho! Ho! Ho! He never says Tee! Hee! or Ha! Ha! Why is that?

For some, this might seem a silly question. I was happy to consider such a question, perhaps because I have three small children. These are the kinds of questions they would ask.

Moellering suggested that Tee! Hee! is far too gaudy and garish, too superficial and syrupy. You say Tee! Hee! about trivial things. Ha! Ha! is too mean and malicious. You hear Ha! Ha! when someone mocks you or tricks you. Santa says Ho! Ho! Ho! because he is full of a rich, substantive joy that he wants to share with you.

And he says Ho! Ho! Ho! Always the three. Moellering suggested that this might be Trinitarian. If you think that is a stretch, remember that Santa was a bishop before he got into the toy business. So, maybe the Gospel gives Santa joy!

The Father sent his only-begotten Son into the world, because he longs to save us. He doesn’t look at our sin and say Tee! Hee! He takes sin seriously. He doesn’t say Ha! Ha! He doesn’t laugh at our expense. No, God had compassion on us. Ho!

The Son was born to a peasant girl in the backwater town of Bethlehem. He humbled himself, eventually to the point of death on a cross. He became sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God. Ho! Ho!

The risen Son gave us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us many gifts, including joy. He fills us with joy by delivering the forgiveness of sins to us. Ho! Ho! Ho!

The Board of the Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations wishes you a Merry Christmas! We hope that our God will give you the joy of the Gospel this season and throughout the New Year.


In Christ,

Rev. Alexander Lange

Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Albany, OR


This video serves as a great discussion prompter for congregations, gatherings of circuit pastors, districts—all who care about the spiritual well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ within the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. It spells out clearly the issues of doctrine and practice that continue to cause division within our synod and threaten our ability to walk together. It also shows our desire assist in the return to faithfulness within our synod.

We encourage you to watch this video, and use the study guides, as we together seek to deal with such issues, guided by the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. We pray that these resources, and others available through the ACELC website, will be a blessing to you and our synod. We welcome your feedback.

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