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What Does God Want For Christmas

Well it’s Christmas eve all over the world and the whole world is preparing biggest most fantastic birthday party there ever was.  In fact, it is so big a party that it does not last for just a day, but for twelve days!  So here I am again rushing out of my home to go to work, and as I drive on the roads, there is clearly something different in the air.  Even with those who may not know what the true meaning of Christmas is, you can sense the great anticipation. Shoppers are rushing about trying to get their last minute shopping done and to make sure no one on their Christmas list is left out. And as I pulled into the car park this song starts to play on the radio. It seems to be a relatively new song as I have not heard it prior to this season. In the song, the singer asked the question, “I wonder what God wants for Christmas”. The song had me thinking.  The last birthday party or wedding that I went to, I had to get a gift for the person celebrating their birthday or for the bride and groom. But what if the person celebrating their birthday is the Son of God; what can you give to Him?

Amazon ImageMore and more people are shying away from using the word Christmas in their greetings. People have reverted to things like seasons greetings, complement of the season, enjoy it, happy holidays and other similar greetings. Fewer and fewer people, even Christians, will wish you ‘Merry Christmas‘. Little or no mention is made of Him whose birthday we celebrate. So here we are celebrating and many don’t know who we are celebrating. It’s like those Trinis who I understand go to wedding receptions uninvited.  They have no idea who the bride and groom are, but they will find themselves in the reception and have a feast. The whole world and all of creation is invited to attend this global or rather universal birthday party celebrating the birth of JESUS and many people have no idea who’s birthday it is. Even among Christians I am hearing greeting such as mentioned above.

As that song was playing in my car I could not help but seriously wonder what would God want for Christmas. What can we give to the Son of Man for Christmas? More personally, what can I Christopher Phillips, give to the Son of God who has given so much for me?  What can I give him?  Here in Trinidad and Tobago and I suppose many other parts of the world, in preparing for Christmas, we are very good at externals. We run around like a headless chickens trying to do all that we should have been doing all year through, that is, keeping homes and surrounding clean, and we try to do it all in December and we say it is ‘for Christmas’; and when we’re done, we are so tired that we can’t attend Christmas Mass – the birthday celebration of the Son of God – Him who gave so very much for you and for me; Him who took upon Himself, my shame and yours; Him who conquered sin and death so that you and I may have eternal life.  Its kind of like the parable of the king who was having this great banquet, this great feast and he sent out the invitations, but all he got was excuses why people could not attend -“ah too tired from Christmas cleaning to come to Mass.”  We need to seriously ask ourselves, what can or should you and I give to God this Christmas? The answer is to be found in His reason for sending His Son into the world.

The gospels tell us that Jesus came to “save us from our sins” (Matthew 1:21). It also tells us that he came that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). The Word of God also tells us – and all of creation testify to this – that God is love (1 John 4:8). When we put all of these together, then what God wants for Christmas can become quite obvious. God wants us turn away from sin (Acts 3:19). God wants us to have an abundance of life (John 10:10). God wants us to love Him first and foremost, then our neighbours (Luke 10:27, Mark 12: 30-31, Deuteronomy 6:5).

The best Christmas gift that we can give to God cannot be found in any store. No matter how big and nicely decorated the mall might be, the gift that God desires will never be found in West Mall nor Long Circular Mall nor Trincity Mall nor any other mall for that matter. It cannot be found it in the hardware store. The best gift that we can give to God; the gift that he truly wants for Christmas is that of ourselves; our hearts. God wants us to turn away from sin and return it to Him, and make His Son Jesus Christ our ‘First Love‘. That will be the greatest Christmas gift that we can ever give to God. Not only will it be a Christmas present to God but it would also be the most beautiful, the most profound Christmas gift to ourselves.  For when we turn away from sin, when we turn away from the things of the dark and we give our lives to God through Jesus Christ His Son, then we will be living life abundantly and we will truly become like sons and daughters of God and we will live in love with God and with each other.

I want to challenge you just think about this for a moment; just think about where you are right now and to truly and honestly ask yourself, “is this where God wants me to be”?.  Deep in your heart you will find the answer.  Please take some quiet time to seek the answer to this question. If it is not where he wants you to be; if in your heart of hearts you know that where you are is not what God wants for you, nor where He wants you to be, then this Christmas give Him your heart. Give Him your life. All that you feel.  Give Him all the ugliness that you feel within, and watch Him transform you into beauty. Give Him your heart and He will change your life – and what abundance of life you will have!

Needless to say if more and more of us give our lives and our hearts to God, our lives will be transformed. Our families will be transformed for the better. Our communities will be transformed from war zones to communities built on the Love of God.  Our world to become a much better and a safer place in which to live.

It is my heartfelt prayer that you and yours will have a truly Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year built on the Love of God made visible in Christ Jesus His Son.


“What God Wants For Christmas”

Old man playing Santa Claus
Blew into town with old Jack Frost
Now he’s handing out candy canes and smiles for free
People scurry with their lists
Rushing around to buy those gifts that will
End up wrapped up underneath the tree
I’m sitting at this red light looking at a manger scene
Watching snowflakes kiss that baby
And it makes me think

I wonder what God wants for Christmas
Something that you can’t find in a store
Maybe peace on Earth, no more empty seats in church
Might be what’s on His wishlist
I wonder what God wants for Christmas

What do you give someone
Who gave His only Son
What if we believe in Him
Like He believes in us

I wonder what God wants for Christmas
What might put a smile on His face
Every Bible with no dust, the devil giving up
Might be what’s on His wishlist

I wonder what God wants for Christmas
What kind of gift from you and me
More sister, more brother, more lovin’ one another
Yeah I wonder, I wonder what God wants
By now we oughta know what God wants for Christmas

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