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The Elf on the Shelf Now Has a Santa Cam

Todd Brewer writes in an edition of Mockingbird:

Happy Holidays! Happy Advent! Happy Elf on the Shelf? Ha, there’s nothing happy about that Elf reporting every misdeed back to the big man at the north pole. This week, my daughter told me that her class’s elf on the shelf carries a Bluetooth Santa Cam, as if to make the Big Brother surveillance even more explicit. Perhaps it’s all fun and games … but the all-seeing Santa of the holidays can feel eerily similar to the Eye of Sauron.

Writing in Christianity Today, Russell Moore contrasts the watchful eye of the Elf-on-the-Shelf with that of God:

What stands out … is how strikingly more comprehensive the seeing of the God of the Bible is. Hagar … encounters God in the wilderness. “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’” (Gen. 16:13). This is a woman who is considered dispensable, no longer useful, and thus invisible to her community. But God sees her. She is not alone in the cosmos. His eye is on the sparrow, and his eye is on her.

Perhaps that’s why one of the most remarkable things about Jesus in his encounters with people … is his seeing them as they are, such as the private character of Nathanael: “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you” (John 1:48). After Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well, she tells her fellow villagers, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29).

This is not an Elf-on-the-Shelf religion; this is good news of great joy.

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