Friday, December 02, 2011

Jesus’ Wishlist

I desire mercy, not sacrifice.  Matthew 9:13
Good Afternoon PCC!
I know I am dating myself here, but one of my fondest Christmas memories from my childhood was when the Sears Christmas Catalog arrived in our home (the old-fashioned way, by a mailman!).  When it arrived, I would grab the catalog and spend hours (so it seemed) in my room and pour over the pages, pen and paper in hand. After my careful research through the catalog pages, out I would come and set before my parents the list, chronicling items that were critical to my Christmas satisfaction! 
It was fun to dream, fun to ponder my life with all those toys and gadgets.  Honestly, as I ponder the memories some 40 years later, I don’t ever recall a single Christmas where one item on my list made it under the tree.  Nor, I am quick to add, do I recall ever being disappointed with what was placed under the tree for me.  Searching through the catalog and dreaming, and then creating the list; that was a gift in itself for me.
Here is my question for us all as we enter into the Christmas season.  Do you think Jesus has a list?  Given it is His birthday we celebrate, have you ever wondered what our Savior wants?  I am struck by how clearly Jesus has told us!  He wants mercy!
Given the context of Matthew 9:13 above, it is clear that in desiring mercy, Jesus is talking about much more than being nice.  He desires that his followers express the supernatural, beyond-human-reason, humanly impossible display of compassion and benevolence towards people who need it most but deserve it least. 
What does this look like for you?  How is the Holy Spirit prompting you to be merciful?  More importantly, who would the Holy Spirit prompt you to be merciful towards? Who needs to be left off your hook?  Who needs your time?  Who needs your attention?  Who needs your love and affection?
I am aware for many of us, the Christmas season is filled with a high relational expectation that is usually unreasonable.  Can I encourage you to take this verse, Jesus’ Wishlist, and ask God how giving this gift to him looks in your life?  What do you have to lose?  What do you have to gain?
This Sunday, we continue in our Christmas Series, The Family Tree, looking at Judah and Tamar. Wow! What a story.  Read up in Genesis 37, 38, 45 and come with a “You Belong” attitude!  Come looking to minister and ready to bask in God’s amazing grace.  I look forward to being together this Sunday!
I Love Being Your Pastor!