All I want for Christmas is...
"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth." Most of us can recall that song being sung in Christmases past, the song was novel - yet none of us really asked for two front teeth. We wanted toys, new clothes, whatever the latest craze was at that time. Whether or not we had great Christmases, something tells me that they were not, in most ways, life changing or even giving.
Each year people worry about what to get other people for their gifts. We want the perfect gifts, and we want people to appreciate the gifts that we give them. If we are honest, there are always gifts we never open, or use, where we ask, "What were they thinking?" Perhaps it is because at times we do not wish to let people know what we want, and at other times our desires are just not realistic, or reasonable.
So what would I most dream of if I were asking for something for Christmas this year? Not world peace, though that would be nice. Not more gift cards, though that is appreciated. Not an end to hunger, even if that is a goal of God. Not an end to disease and death, though they are hard and break hearts.
No, what I most want are affirming churches filled with people who passionately engage their faith and their God. People who have been told by others that they are bound for Hell. People who have become cynical about what church can be since Jesus¹ fans that claimed to be followers wounded them. People who rather than reject God, and the church, find a church where they can make a positive impact on people just like them. People who stop seeing "affirming" as "not real church." Rather they see it as a
place where God greets them as the place where the Holy Spirit moves most effectively.
A people who understand that how they live, breath and embrace God in the world will affect everything else they do. To embrace that when we bow our heads and raise our hands we do it because of what we know, not just how we feel. To testify to what Grace and Mercy have done for us. A community
that feeds itself with prayer, and humbly serves those in need. A team focused on being the best they can be, rather than thinking that the American Dream is somehow Godly.
Honestly, I know of no pastor, Savior, or God who wants anything else. Each pastor I know looks at everyone¹s potential rather than his or her problems. We can all find problems, but are we truly looking for potential? There are countless affirming churches in our area who seek to connect people to a God
larger than that one church, synagogue, or temple. Yet, they all hope someone gives them more than a gift card to end war.
They and the God we claim hopes for a gift of passion from those who need and can give healing and hope to a broken world. Will you give what God wants, or make excuses about how little time you had to shop?
See also from Pastor Greg: