“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.”
(Psalm 62:1 (ESV)
“All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” That’s what I sang in kindergarten, and I love to hear the kids sing it still today. Unfortunately, none of my kid’s Christmas lists are quite so simple. They want iPods, Wii games, new Thomas the Tank Engine toys, and pretty much everything else that’s advertised during Saturday morning cartoons.
My Christmas wish list isn’t any better. Now that The Beatles are being sold through iTunes, I’ve got a wish list of music to buy. I think the iPad looks really cool – and being the “techno-gadget-lover” that I am – yes, it is on the list (but I’ve already been told Santa isn’t bringing it). To be honest, like my dad, I’d be happy getting socks and a new toothbrush for Christmas – I’m pretty easy to please.
Unfortunately Christmas season can bring out the worst in people, highlighting our selfishness and greed, the covetousness and envy that lies deep in our hearts. All the advertising and marketing of the season makes it hard to avoid these attitudes. Sometimes, we try to amend the problem, taking the high road saying, “All I want for Christmas is… world peace… success for my children… the chance to help others.” All of these are commendable desires, but if that is really all we want for Christmas, we are still missing the mark.
The tendency of the human heart is to take the good things that God has given us in this life and hold them up as our idols – to worship the gift rather than the giver of the gift. All the things on our Christmas lists are probably good things, especially things like peace, a loving family, and charity. Too often, though, we get caught up in these things, and they become our priority. We make idols out of every good gift we’ve received, and we lose sight of God. We end up chasing after lesser gods, and wind up with lesser joy.
What I really need this Christmas, what we all need, is to be known by God and to know Him better. This is why Jesus came; to take away our sinful and idolatrous hearts, and to give us hearts that beat for God alone. He came to show us the Father, who He really is, and who He has called us to be. He came to show us the love of the Father, so that we might desire the Father more than anything else in all the world.
This Christmas, all that is on my list is what David longed for in Psalm 62:1-2
1 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.