There is really nothing I want for Christmas. This is the same as for the last two decades or so. Somewhere about the time I reached the age of 40 suddenly I found out that I really did not want anything for Christmas or my birthday or for any special occasion unless someone just wants to give me whatever they desire for me to have. I like receiving food products because I can eat them. I like receiving cologne or after shave because it has a practical purpose. I like music, and anything musical is okay too. But, the idea that I really WANT any of those things is long gone. What I really want, and none of you can supply, is peace on earth.
Yes, I know it sounds trite to request Peace on Earth for Christmas because not one of you can really give it to me or to the world. That is the gift that is so fantastic and special and extraordinary that no member of humanity can supply it. It doesn't stop me from wanting it though. Every Christmas someone will ask me what I want for Christmas and I will usually reply, "Peace on earth, of course, but if you cannot give me that, whatever you want to give will be great."
There is a song that I first heard when I attended a conference of persons from across the world in Kansas City, Missouri back in the 90s. It was a religious conference of church people and the music was church music, of course. The song was a new one and was introduced at the conference to the delegates. It was written by the modern song writer Shirley Erena Murray who has written many new songs that have been included in modern hymnals. It is called "Star-Child" which is the name that describes Jesus, the one whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. I can hardly sing the song without getting a lump in my throat because it describes the great love of God in sending this gift to the earth and the ones for whom he came to earth.
"Star-Child, earth-Child, go between of God, love Child, Christ Child, heaven's lightning rod"--that's Jesus, alright. Like a celestial visitor, he took up residence among earthlings and became the lightning rod that sparked all who witnessed his life and heard his words.
Then, Murray describes all he came to earth for..."Street child, beat child...hurt child, used child...Grown child...old child...sad child...lost child..." Many of us have been one or more of that group of kids. Even if we do not think of ourselves as children any longer, each of us have that inner child that remembers the past and tries to live with the present. We are the ones who long for the love that only the Star-Child from heaven can provide.
"Hope-for-peace Child, God's stupendous sign, down-to-earth Child, Star of stars that shine"--that's Jesus again. Jesus is the hope for peace. Jesus is the sign of God's love for humanity. Jesus is the brightness that illuminates the path we all must walk. Jesus is the hope of the world for peace that only God can bring.
The refrain repeats the hope that it will come soon...."This year, this year, let the day arrive, when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!"
"Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me," we say in reply. Let me work for peace in my corner of the world. Let me pray daily that God's will be done on earth, even as it is done in heaven. Let me reach out to those who are like all those children who feel used and sad and lost that their wounds will heal until they see the world differently than it has been in years past.
So, if you are wondering what to give me for Christmas, you know what I really want...but I doubt if Santa will have it in his bag for me on Christmas morning, at least this for this year. Some Puppy Chow (the kind with the chocolate and powdered sugar not the kind you give to the dog) or a great bottle of virgin olive oil may substitute. I will have to look upward with my request for the thing I want most and know that the one who can give that gift also wants humans on earth to have it, even more than we want it.