This was the subject of a sermon I heard this past Sunday morning. The message began with thoughts about Christmas and the season, and then the question was raised, in an “I wonder?” sense, “What does God want for Christmas?”
The text for the sermon came from Micah 6:6-8, in which the real question is, “What can I do that will please the Lord?” First on the list is sacrifice: Will this please the Lord? We learn from the words of Samuel that “to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22). We know now that there is only one Sacrifice pleasing and acceptable to God, and that was the sacrifice of His only Son, and His finished work, on our behalf, on the cross.
How many of us have said, in response to a question about whether we celebrate a certain holiday, something like this: “I celebrate Christmas every day;” or, “I celebrate Easter every day.” As Christians, this is correct. We can celebrate what was accomplished by Jesus coming to earth … and, then, His victory over death and the grave … every day. Without these two events … well … there wouldn’t be a Christmas, or an Easter … or, really, anything else to celebrate, would there? Without Jesus, we would all be lost, and without hope. Period.
I think that what God wants for Christmas … is the same thing He wants every day of the year:
To love Him, hear His voice, accept Him, and follow Him. To accept Christ, not just for a season, but for all seasons.
Think about it: God doesn’t “need” anything. He already owns everything. Everything He allows us to have is already His.
Ready for this … God doesn’t have needs … only wants …
God wants us to love Him, accept Him, and follow Him … that’s what God wants … every moment of every day.
He “wants” to have fellowship with us … wasn’t that the very reason that He created man in the first place? He still wants this, with each one of us, individually.
Back to Micah: The question raised in verse 8 is “What doth the Lord require of thee?” And, then, the answer is given, to what the Lord requires of us: “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”
What a great response, which carries the full weight of everything needed, and asked for, to please God. Notice the “answer” gives the two main things God always asks of us, and both are about relationships: To love Him, and love others. To serve Him, and serve others.
The Ten Commandments? 5 detail our relationship with God, and 5 detail our relationship with each other. I think of Jesus’ answer to the question about the “greatest commandment”:
Matthew 22:37-40: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Also, how can we “act justly” if we ourselves aren’t justified?
Oh, and Micah also mentioned “mercy;” in fact, to “love mercy.” Awesome! How can we love others unless we have mercy, loving-kindness, toward them? How can we be properly motivated to do this, unless we love God? Simply put, we are to show others mercy and forgiveness, just as God has extended mercy and forgiveness toward us.
A season of giving? Again, every day: As God has given us, we should give others. We give, as we have been freely given. Never, ever forget … There are people in your life … that only you … and you only … can reach with the Gospel … that’s why they are in your life!
One last thing, which just happens to be included in the list from Micah 6:8, is this: “To walk humbly with thy God.” I love how God never misses an opportunity, when “making a list,” to add the word “humble” or “humility,” always one of the first attributes of Jesus we think of, and which God “wants” us to display …
Today, every day, God cares about us, and “wants” us to care about Him, and to care about others.
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
P.S. See … I didn’t mention, even once, or question, if you would celebrate the birthday of someone you didn’t know? If you don’t personally know Him … He already knows you … get to know Him … by speaking to Him, and hearing from Him!