December 7, 2011
As the semester is quickly coming to a close, we finish our papers and prepare for final exams with the anticipation of Christmas right around the corner.
When Christmas is mentioned, the first things that come to the minds of many are the decorations, the gifts and a two-week vacation. I have discovered that although Christmas is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Christ, we usually manage to make it all about us.
Once December rolls around, many of us hear the question, “What do you want for Christmas?” from our friends and family. So, we come up with a list of perishable items that will satisfy us for the time being and spend the weeks prior to Christmas day buying gifts for others.
Much time, effort and money go into making others and ourselves happy at Christmas. Because of this, we neglect to focus on what truly matters: Jesus. This year, instead of making Christmas a self-centered affair, ask what does Jesus want for Christmas?
According to a blog written by John Piper, pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jesus tells God what he wants in his longest prayer in John 17. The climax of his desire is found in verse 24. “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.”
“What Jesus wants most for Christmas is that his elect be gathered in and then get what they want most – to see his glory and then savor it with the very savoring of the Father for the Son,” said Piper
Jesus’ desire is for his elect to be with him where he is and to see his glory. We were made to see and savor his glory. According to Piper we are to see his glory but also savor it, relish it, delight in it, treasure it and love it. John 17:26 says, “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
So, rather than self-pleasing this Christmas, see Christ in all his fullness so love may reach far beyond half-hearted human capacities.
Piper said this is what Jesus prays for us this Christmas: "Father, show them my glory and give them the very delight in me that you have in me."
May we see Christ with the eyes of God and savor Christ with the heart of God this Christmas.