My favourite Christmas advert this year is the one where the little boy is counting down the days to Christmas, ticking off the calendar, in anticipation of the big day. We’re led down the path of thinking he that he can’t wait to open his own gifts. The first time I watched it, I was cross at the rampant materialism and greed. Even the backing music, a cover of The Smiths’ “Please, please let me get what I want'”, paints that picture! But then, in the final seconds of the ad, we discover that he was only willing time to move faster so that he could finally give his gift to his parents.
God has answered the ironic plea of the song “Please, please, let me get what I want.” The Message translation of Romans 1 puts it like this “What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives… So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out… Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping…”
But, in the final seconds of this article comes a surprise better than the TV advert. Jesus is a “gift that can’t wait to be given” – with incredible irony, the God who flung stars into space came and lived among us, born in the squalor of a borrowed stable. He grew to demonstrate perfect humanity and then died and rose again on our behalf, so that we could be friends with God.
This Christmas, the gift that can’t wait to be given is friendship with God through Jesus Christ. Receive it by talking to Jesus, admitting you were living in that pigpen of life without God. Then ask for his forgiveness and leadership. Finally get plugged into a local church and get them to help you enjoy the gift of friendship with God!
Andy Moyle, The Gateway Church for The Citizen Thought for the Week yet again!