While visiting my family over Thanksgiving a few years back, I asked my brother’s wife, Chris if the boys had made their Santa list. In response, she said; “surprisingly, no.” I was taken back that my nephews had not made a list this year. Typically, they have a list and some sort of Star Wars theme is in the mix. But, all that had been asked for was a bathrobe by my younger nephew, David.
Chris and I began to talk more about Christmas, gift giving and what Santa was like when we were kids. Of course the old Sears Christmas Catalog as well as the Montgomery Ward Catalog was included in our conversation. I must say Chris had one up on me with the Montgomery Ward catalog. Our home was strictly Sears. In our recollection of childhood Christmases, we shared how these catalogs would show up in the Fall and the list would begin. The list would begin with just about everything Sears could sell to a kid. Then, as Christmas would draw closer, the list had to be narrowed down to three main things we wanted. Of course, Santa would bring those three things and then sometimes a fourth item that had been circled may show up unexpectedly.
Christmas is drawing near. Young and old are making their lists for Santa. The list seems to get longer and more complex as time passes on. Gone are the days of circling all you can and narrowing it down to just three things. And, does anyone still get PJ’s and underwear at Christmas? We live in a society where more is good and the more we have the happier we will be.
This Christmastide, I am offering everyone a challenge (myself included) to create a different kind of list. Along with the list made for Santa, get another piece of paper and write three ways you can give back to God in the upcoming year. Finding three things to fit into our schedule, our physical ability and means of which to do them should not be hard at all.
As you create this list, remember,God sent his Son, Christ to not be served but to serve. The first Christmas was the beginning of changing the hearts of men and women. It is when we serve Christ, share God’s love, and have Christ in our hearts, we become truly happy. The yearning for the things the world offers becomes less important.
Just as simple it is to write a long list for Santa, writing a list to God of committing ourselves to serve him should be even easier. What do you say? Are you willing to make that list of giving in Christian servanthood just as eagerly as you make that Santa list? If so, what are your three things?
Commit this list to God. Put this list in a safe place and pull it out throughout the upcoming year to see if you are following through with your commitment. Also, you may encourage your children, other family members, small groups, and Sunday School groups to make an individual list as well as a list as a whole group. After all, we were all commissioned to go and make disciples and to share the Good News!
“Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20