Do you remember as a child when you went to see Santa Claus? I remember back in the 50's as I was growing up in North Jersey, we did not have the malls, which we enjoy now. Santa Claus greeted the children in our firehouse in the center of town, and we had to patiently wait out in the cold for up to an hour and a half. When we got close, my anticipation mounted. Finally, I was there on the lap of this mystical man. Then that inevitable question from St. Nick, "what do you want for Christmas?" Today I might have responded with gifts like a new computer, Play Station, or DVD Player. But his was back in the ancient fifties with Eisenhower and American Bandstand. So I replied, "I want a GI Joe, an erector set, and a pair of roller skates with a key."
Of course, we got a gift made up of a decorated bag with a candy cane, piece of chocolate, and an apple. On this particular day, my candy cane was broken into a thousand pieces, the chocolate was melted, and the apple had a worm in it.
What do you really want for Christmas? Let's get deeper then the commercialism such as the rush-rush, and buying all those expensive gifts while taking until next Christmas to pay of the debt. Let's get passed all of that. Let's talk about our God and His intervention in the world past and in the world present. Let's talk about His Son, who was born into this world to help us focus on the important things in life.
What do you really want for Christmas? How about a world without war, oppression, prejudice, pain, poverty, or intolerance! How about families which are functional, nonabusive, and who spend quality time together! Those are just some of the presents I want for Christmas. Don’t forget about Chanukah and Kwanza. From our faith community to you and your families, have a happy holiday and a blessed New Year, and I wish that you get all that you wanted this season.
Pastor Jim Rixon, First United Methodist Church, (609) 561-1537