All I Want for Christmas
by Sharon Betters
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
I was about fifteen years old when my very talented, artistic mother coached me to sing All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth for a holiday talent contest. Seconds before I was to perform, my mother pulled already been chewed licorice gum out of her mouth, handed it to me and told me to put it on my two front teeth. Eyes wide, I listened as she continued, “Keep your top lip over your teeth while you sing. Sing with lots of animation just like you practiced but when you get to the very end, slow down the last sentence, hold out the last note and then very slowly break into a wide smile.”
Needless to say, my performance was a hit!
But the song begs the question. What do I want for Christmas? What do you want? If you could have one desire of your heart, what would it be?
You’ve probably moved past writing a gift wish list and instead focus on making sure Christmas is perfect for everyone else you love. But wasn’t it fun as a child to imagine getting the one thing that you wanted more than anything else?
When I was a little girl, all I wanted was a life-like “big doll”. As Christmas grew closer, every night at bedtime I looked out the window and searched for the first star of the night and whispered, “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. Wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.”
Christmas did not disappoint. I got my doll, and eagerly took it to second grade for Show and Tell. Instead of listening to my teacher who urged me to leave the doll inside, I carried it out to recess and joined the other girls in a circle. My girlfriend and I held the hands of my doll. The goal of the game was for the person in the middle of the circle to run to the weakest spot and break through the hands. My second-grade heart was full, never dreaming that the boy in the middle would deliberately run through that weakest link created by my doll. Instead of letting go of the doll’s hand, I held tighter. He not only broke through the circle, but he also broke my doll’s arm. My special gift, the one I wanted more than anything, broken.
So let’s ask the question again. What do you want for Christmas this year that cannot be broken? Where can you find such a gift?
Before the old Sears catalog started arriving in mail boxes years ago and marketing geniuses realized that repetition sells, God had already created His own Christmas catalog and printed His gift of grace on every page. He describes the facets of the gift of His grace available to us right now. The Apostle Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 2:9:
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.
Throughout Scripture, we see some of these mysterious grace gifts on display in the lives of people who are ahead of us on this life journey. We do not have to wish for those gifts for ourselves. Paul also tells us in Galatians 3:29 that:
…if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
This is a profound thought that everything God promised to Abraham belongs to us, too, if we belong to Jesus. Between now and Christmas, we will pull back the curtains on the lives of five women whose journeys showcase some of the unbreakable gifts promised to us as children of Abraham: a wounded widow, a professional prostitute, an indomitable immigrant, a bathing beauty and a terrified teenager. Each of these women plays a key part in bringing Jesus into the world. They are harlots and heroines, midwives of the Messiah. We’ll get a glimpse into how God gave each of them a priceless gift that could not be broken, each gift available to us today.
So, what do you want for Christmas? Better yet, what do you want that cannot be broken?
Father, what do you have for me this Christmas? What gift do I need that cannot be broken? Show me the deepest need in my soul, perhaps a need I cannot identify, and do more in my heart than I imagine possible as I journey to Christmas with the Midwives of the Messiah.