By Mark Tetley Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
“What do you want for Christmas?” is the question I remember being asked the most around Christmas since I was a child. Now people might ask, “What are you doing for Christmas?” However, the first question is still sprinkled into holiday conversations. Sometimes it comes in the post-holiday form of the question, “Did you get what you wanted?” I can honestly say that every Christmas I get exactly what I want, because I get Jesus. Do you get Him?
- I am saddened by those that talk as if Jesus Christ is tied to a religion — for they don’t get Him.
- I am saddened by those that speak His name only when they are angry or frustrated — for they don’t get Him.
- I am saddened by the religious people that move Him to the back of their rules and regulations — for they don’t get Him.
To be honest, it took a while for me to get Jesus. At first, I just believed in Jesus as the Christ, the one who came to be the sacrifice for me that I might have life with God that begins now and continues through eternity. It was a long time before I saw that He wanted to be more than the one who purchased a ticket to heaven for me.
Once I realized that He wanted me to embrace Him every day of my life, I began to get Him. I began to see the extent of His GRACE that accepts me even though I have done many things to shame Him, which moved me to extend forgiveness to others rather than being resentful. I began to see His POWER at work in me as my way of thinking and acting changed. I began to see His LOVE when I was moved to do things for others who I would have completely ignored in the past. I began to see His PEACE when I relaxed and trusted Him to provide and to protect me.
It took me a while to get Him, but isn’t that the way it is with all relationships? I have been married for thirty-two years, and I can say that those years have been spent getting to know my wife. I hope that this Christmas, if you don’t really know Jesus Christ, you would tell Him you want to start a relationship with Him.
I close with a link to a video of Give Me Jesus, originally recorded by Fernando Ortega. Danny Gokey is singing here. Every time I hear it, I am moved to say, “Just give me Jesus.” He is good for Christmas and for every day of the year.