It’s now just a few hours til Christmas, and by now you should have all the shopping done, the food ready to cook, everything wrapped and positioned under the tree. And looking outside (at least if you are in the UK, I can’t vouch for weather elsewhere) it may even be looking like the scene from the front of Christmas cards with snow and frost covering the place, making it look Christmassy/causing massive travel problems (delete as appropriate).
But before the big day arrives, there’s something I’d like you to listen to. It’s a Christmas song that you may not have heard before, but which happens to be one of my favourites – “Grown up Christmas List”. So take a couple of minutes to watch it through this handy youtube video (facebookers will need to do a search for it), and focus on the lyrics, especially the chorus.
(Apologies the video isn’t that exciting to look at, but I wanted the Amy Grant version!)
Okay, so why did I get you to listen to that song? When you were young, one of the first things you did in the run up to Christmas was probably write a wish list of what you wanted to get (who knows, it quite possible still is!). Chances are you probably didn’t get everything on that list. And as you got older you knew you wouldn’t get everything you put on your wish list. But you still tried.
As realists we know we can’t solve the world’s problems in a short time. But we can still make that our wish list. We can still try. This Christmas, make this your wish list:
“No more lives torn apart,
And wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts.
Every one would have a friend,
That right would always win,
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list,
This is my only lifelong wish,”
Not for yourself, but for the world that is so desperately in need. Spend time praying about it. Do something practical about it. And remember at Christmas there’s something more important than the presents under the tree. There’s something bigger than whether or not you got the mp3 player you wanted. This isn’t some airy-fairy ‘it would be nice if it happened’ wish-list. This is a cry from those devastated by hunger, AIDS, poverty, war, famine, floods, addiction, abuse, persecution, and such things. We need to act on this wish-list, we need to try and make the world a better place. Not for ourselves, but for the world in need. Christmas means more than what presents we get, it means peace and goodwill to all mankind (and for the PC among you, womankind too). And that includes those who are hungry, lonely, hurting or dying this Christmas. This Christmas, include them in your grown-up Christmas list.