"'Dear Santa Claus,' it began. 'You know I have never written. I could never think of anything I needed or wanted for Christmas. But this year I had a different idea. What do you wish for Christmas Santa? You always answer children's wishes, but what about your own? Isn't there one thing in the world that you wish for but do not have? If you will post a letter back to me, I will do all that I can to bring your dream to life. Respectfully, Your friend, Christopher C.'"
In Brittany Ryan's enchanting novel, The Legend of Holly Claus, this child's letter set in motion an amazing adventure of love and sacrifice . . . and redemption.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"What do you want for Christmas?" It's a familiar question this time of year. Lots of you are probably way ahead of me and have your shopping done already. Whether you're wrapping the presents you've bought, or still wracking your brain to find that certain something for that special someone, when the gift is prompted by love, the giver always wants to know what gift will delight the loved one's heart. We don't want to give ordinary, no-imagination gifts that could have been From: Anyone, To: Anyone. We don't want to give the kind of gift you take to those generic gift exchanges where you don't know who will pick your package, so you just get something anyone might like.
Four years ago we got to give a gift to She-So-Sweet that took her completely by surprise. Her old violin was in a bad way and while she desperately needed a new one, she knew money was tight, so she only asked for a new case. On Christmas morning, when she opened her big box and saw the new case, she was thrilled! Then, we had the fun of seeing her surprise turn to shock and watching her heart melt right before our eyes as she looked inside and realized there was a new violin to fill up her new case! It was a family moment we will always remember!!
There is just nothing like knowing that our gift has found its mark in conveying our love to someone in a way that was personally picked out just for them. In all our hunting for those just-right presents for the people we love, I wonder how often we remember to ask Jesus, "What do YOU want for Christmas?" After all, it is HIS birthday. Is it possible that if we ask, we too can embark on an amazing adventure of love, and sacrifice and redemption?
What would we do if He told us exactly what He wants for Christmas? Would we stop at anything to find it, get it, wrap it up, put a bow on top and wait breathlessly for Him to open it up on Christmas morning?
There is only one place in all of Scripture where Jesus actually expresses His personal desire to His Father and says the words, "I want."
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." John 17:24-26 NIV
Go back and read that again.
Did you let that sink in?
Did you hear what He said?
What Jesus wants for this Christmas, and for every Christmas and for every day forever and ever is . . . US!!!
He wants us to be with Him, where He is.
He wants to have the fun of showing us His glory.
He wants to share His Father's love with us and wants us for His dwelling place.
Jesus, how can it be that when You could ask for anything, You ask for me? I am undone at the thought of You asking Your Father to give me to You. How can I be on your wish list at all, never mind in the top spot? How could I ever refuse to be treasured by You? I couldn't!! I wouldn't!! I can only stand in amazed surrender and accept Your inexplicable love. I want to be with You where You are, both here during my time on earth and someday in Your home in heaven. I want to see Your glory as You show it to me! And yes, I will daily submit to being Your dwelling place overflowing with Your Father's love.
We are all He ever wanted!!! The gift He asked His Father for, feels more like a gift He gives to us, but isn't that just like Jesus?!!
Won't you join me in giving Him what He wants for Christmas? You can even put a bow on top, if you like!
What does it mean to you to know you're at the top of Jesus' Christmas list?
Edited from the archives