When we’re young, we write Christmas lists with everything we think we need to be happy. As we get older, we begin to expand those lists to include life goals, status symbols, career prominence, and other achievements we feel we need in order to feel that Christmas-morning-level joy in life. But how often do we take that list to God or include Him in our plans and dreams? And if we do take that list to God, are we asking Him for short-term wants or things that truly matter?
This Christmas season we are walking through a new series, “All I Want for Christmas is…” which poses the questions, what are we asking of God, and what would change in our lives if He actually granted those things? Do the things we ask for matter to Him (hint: yes!)? And are we even asking Him for the right things?
Lists come with expectations, but if we’re honest, circumstances are almost always beyond our full control. And so, in most years, we may find that our wishes and plans fall short of what we hoped we would do or obtain. What if it’s because we’re trying to achieve those dreams on our own or seeking out the wrong things?
What’s on Your List?
In the first conversation of the series, “What’s on Your List?” we talked about what we’re asking or hoping God will do this Christmas. Are they material or relational things? Are our lists focused on the right things?
Pastor Chris discussed how many people in Jesus’ day had a wish list for the Messiah that was focused on all the wrong things. Because of this, He didn’t meet expectations the way people had planned, and so they could not understand why Jesus had arrived or the importance of the things He accomplished. In reality though, the things He did and promises He fulfilled were even better than they could possibly imagine!
Jesus teaches about what actually matters and that the most important thing in our lives is our relationship with God. This relationship is above any earthly wish and it provides true happiness and Christmas joy.
Make a Joyful Noise
This week, we also enjoyed the time-honored tradition of watching the Grace Kids Christmas Concert. Extra creativity was needed in order to create a virtual event this year, but it was just as joyful and heartening to see the kids performing and helping commence the holiday season. The kids helped spark some Christmas warmth with their adorable renditions of Little Drummer Boy, Born Is The King (It’s Christmas) and Joy to the World.
It was wonderful to see their smiling and sometimes mischievous faces (for those a little too excited or nervous about performing! Ha!) as they sang out His praise and celebrated the reason Christmas exists, to honor the birth of our Savior!
The holidays are a magical time, full of family, community, good feelings, and the joy of giving. As we head into this special season together, let’s remember what really matters and that the true happiness of Christmas is found in the promise that Jesus brings. When we include Him on our wish lists and ask for the things that really matter, we can find true happiness.
If you missed the beginning of the series, be sure to jump into the Hoboken Grace app or website to watch.