My Christmas wish list for Jesus

If I got the chance to sit on Jesus’ knee, like children get to sit on Santa’s knee and tell him what they want for Christmas, what would I tell Jesus I want from him? It’s not such a far-fetched thought either, because Jesus himself said in John 15:7, “Ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”

Imagine a child’s reaction if Santa Claus said that. But that’s exactly the idea being promoted by those who line their kids up for a chance to sit on Santa’s knee, that Santa is actually there to do just that, give a child whatever he wants.

But where did such an idea come from? It has no connection to the original Santa Claus, St. Nicholas of Myra, who entered the history books as a good man for giving three bags of gold to a needy family, but somehow St. Nicholas has morphed into a godlike Santa Claus being lifted up as “good” for indulging children’s totally selfish wants.

But didn’t Jesus say we could ask him for whatever we want as well, in John 14:14? So wasn’t Jesus being a Santa Claus too?

But the reason Jesus said we could ask him for what we want is not so he can be Santa Claus indulging our selfish desires, it’s to “bring glory to the Father” (verse 13) by making God visible to people for who he really is (verses 10-11). And it’s Jesus’ greatest wish and desire to expand that work he began through us.

The obvious question then is: Well, is that what I want too? Do I wish for Jesus to give me whatever it takes to make God visible in me to people as well?

Well, why wouldn’t I want that, and especially in a world in which the god that’s being made most visible at Christmas time is Santa Claus, who exists only to promote and encourage children to get what they want for themselves, creating yet another generation of children who think the world revolves around them.

Jesus, however, came as God in human form to show us what the real God is like by living a life of total unselfishness, and then said he would create many more people like him who could live the same unselfish lives too. And isn’t that what our world needs now more than anything? It needs unselfish people, not more Santa-fed children expecting everyone to bow to their wants.

It makes my Christmas wish list for Jesus a fairly simple one, therefore, because if it’s my greatest wish to live a life like his he guarantees he will give me whatever I need to make it possible.