Christmas Lists

Read: John 15:1-17

With the coming of the internet and purchases on Amazon the online Christmas list has become a popular thing.  Family and friends can make lists of things they want for Christmas and share it with others who might want to get that item for them. It is handy, it is convenient; but I wonder if it encourages us to focus on the material things even more than we did before.  I can find a lot of things on Amazon that I would like to have, but do I really need them?

It is fun to give and receive gifts during Christmas.  I don’t want to be a Mr. Scrooge about those things. But at the same time we must take note of how much that part of Christmas becomes our focus.  As children we loved the idea of gifts under the tree and waking up on Christmas morning to open them together. I suppose as adults we still enjoy that as well.  But what kind of list would best reflect the Savior we celebrate on Christmas day?

Some years ago Amy Grant sang a Christmas song that puts those thoughts into words.  Her song “Grown Up Christmas List” went like this… “So here’s my lifelong wish, my grown-up Christmas list, not for myself, but for a world in need:  No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start, and time would heal all hearts. And every one would have a friend, and right would always win, and love would never end, this is my grown up Christmas list.”  Before she repeats this chorus again she sings… “Well, heaven surely knows, that packages and bows, can never heal a hurting human soul.”

As you think about your own Christmas list this year try to remember others as well.  In John 15 Jesus speaks of the vine and the branches. He talks about loving others as he has loved us.  In verse 17 he ends by saying, “This is my command: Love each other.” We can show our love through material gifts but we can also show our love through gifts that are from the heart.  Who, how, and what is God calling you to this Christmas?

Make it Personal:  With the convenience of Amazon and other store websites we can ship gifts to anyone at any place in the world.  How cool would it be to surprise someone with a gift that shows up at their door unexpected this Christmas? How can you “Love each other” this Christmas?

 Have a Merry Christmas, Pastor Glen Rhodes