What Do You Want For Christmas?

That question must come up a million times in the conversations of families as the approach of Christmas quickens. In the hectic weeks of shopping, it is almost impossible to find the right gifts and guarantee that the gifts found, are the ones that will still be wanted. Kids change their minds so often. Things that were desired four months ago can become old, archaic relics in one day when the new phone, pad or other hi-tech wonder hits the stores. What we want can change in the moment when we are driven by the powers of advertisement. They know what you NEED and can’t live without! We end up wanting for Christmas what they tell us we want. And somehow, we think that our decision originated within ourselves. But, we can become spiritual. What we really want then is peace on earth. But when we realize that we can neither provide nor produce that greatly needed commodity, we soothe ourselves with more things that we “really need.” So, what do you want for Christmas? Peace on earth is a good thing. The Prince of Peace came 2,000 years ago. With tensions building worldwide, peace on earth is not yet a reality, at least in the realm of nations. As we look at the streets of our nation, we see that peace does not always prevail. Even in one’s own home, the lack of peace sometimes finds the unsuspecting. People are mugged and even killed in their homes. There is no guarantee of peace there. Finally, we get to the personal realm. How is it with your soul? Fears and imaginations crop up to destroy the peace we claim to have. An unexpected phone call, a lay-off, an illness, anything beyond our expectations can rob us of our delicate, tentative peace. The old song says, “I’ve got peace like a river.” A river is hard to stop. Unless totally corralled by a dam, it usually finds an alternate route in which to express itself. This is something of the way “the peace that passes all understanding” operates. It is a peace that outward circumstances cannot take away. It is even greater than our innate fears we impose upon ourselves. It is indeed the peace of God, the peace sent when Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was born. So what DO you want for Christmas? --Ben