Monday, December 17

All I Want For Christmas...

What do you want for Christmas this year? 

Mariah Carey says all she wants is you

Retailers are banking on you wanting the latest and greatest gadget or toy.

And some little kid says he/she only wants his/her two front teeth (yeah, right).

But what do you want for Christmas this year? 

Or better, not just for Christmas, but looking forward to the coming year, what are things you want to see happen? 

What do you think God would like for you this coming year?

Read: Isaiah 55:1-3a
1 Come, everyone who thirsts,
     come to the waters;
   and he who has no money,
     come , buy and eat!
   Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
     and your labor for that which does not satisfy? 
   Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
     and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
     hear, that your soul may live...

When was a time you felt close to God? When were times you sensed his peace or presence most profoundly? What was true about those times? What made them feel that way?

I expect that none of them had to do with stuff but rather with relationships or with nature. The circumstances that caused you to feel close to God or at peace or to sense his presence are usually not experiences that can be bought or paid for. They sometimes come when we least expect it, but they usually come when we seek after God intentionally - maybe going on a retreat or spending time with people we care about. They come when we open our hearts and our lives to new experiences. They come when we have a deep hunger or longing for something more and we place ourselves in a posture ready to receive. They come when we have our eyes open to see God all around us.

In Isaiah 55 God invites us to come to him for things that will truly satisfy our heart's deepest desires. He uses the metaphor of thirst for water and hunger after food to invite us to find what will truly satisfy our souls' longings. 

Look at the action verbs in these verses: come, buy, spend, labor, listen, delight, incline, live...There's a contrast and an invitation. It's a contrast between striving and receiving; between wasting and investing; between grasping and receiving; between emptiness and satisfaction.

What satisfies the soul? Where do we find it? What does it cost? Why do we expend ourselves and our resources on what will not truly satisfy? Why do we set our hearts on that?

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and New Year's, take time to think about these verses and about your heart's deepest desire. Take time to consider:

What might God be calling you into this coming year?

What one thing might he be calling you to let go of so you can move into deeper intimacy with him?

What do you sense God wants to say to you as 2012 comes to a close? What does he want you to know about how he feels about you?

What do you want in your relationship with God?

What are you going to do about it?

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