by Joel Levin, Western Australia
I thought I’d get myself prepared early for Christmas this year. Going through the list, I found one name that I struggled with for gift ideas… the name on the list was GOD. After all, what would God, the ancient of days, the creator of all there is, the big guy, want for Christmas?
So I turned to the religions around the world for some guidance as they profess to know him best.
A few suggest that awe and respect are the perfect gifts. But this didn’t fit my experience of the big guy; every time I have felt him, the feeling was asking (not expecting) me to recognise I was equal to him, and that I couldn’t show him respect without respecting myself first. After all, what would someone who knows all and sees all need with the adoration of others?
A few religions seem to think the best gift is to walk around scared of his might and fury and to be subservient to his will. All I needed to do was to look at my own children to realise this wouldn’t be something he’s interested in. There was no way I’d want my kids to feel scared of me. If my kids didn’t grow up with the ability to make and be responsible for their own choices, I would somehow feel like I have failed them.
A few suggested guilt and repentance would be the ‘new black’ this season. Again, I remembered when my kids were learning to walk, they didn’t need to feel guilty that they couldn’t walk yet, nor seek forgiveness if they tripped and fell. How could a love that is unending ever judge – and if you don’t seek an ability to judge, what do you need the ability to forgive for?
A few suggested exclusivity and prestige. Now I thought this would be a something I could do – make him feel special (and by reflection make me feel special for knowing him), but then I realised those guys that walk around wanting to be ‘better’ than everyone usually came across as arrogant and/or very insecure. Neither fitted my experience of God.
Finally I stumbled on a suggestion that God is already love: not an emotional, needy or dis-empowering love, but a love so simple, true, consistent and strong that God doesn’t need anything that affirms him, makes us beholden to him or makes him the controller of our fate. All he might be waiting for is for us to realise that we are the same love he is.
The beauty of this gift is that when I allow the possibility that I am this love too, not as prayer, not as something I wish for, but in how I live my life, I get a gift, others I meet get a gift and the big guy sees another prodigal son return… at last a gift that truly keeps on giving.
821 thoughts on “What Would God Want for Christmas?”
Me being me is a gift. I know it feels amazing in that moment but it being a gift I have yet to give as much focus in claiming. But it is true and it certainly beats getting socks for Christmas.
This sentence caught my attention
‘So I turned to the religions around the world for some guidance as they profess to know him best.’
Religions profess to know him best but do they know him at all? Some religions do not appear to live in a way that would naturally connect to God and the grandness that is the Universe.
If we have an untrue relationship with God then we have an untrue relationship with ourselves, we are part of God, we come from that source, so to truly know ourselves we have to be in our connection to God.
I really appreciate how this blog busts through all those ideals and beliefs around what we need to do to know God.. love ourselves – simple.
The poor guy… imagine, year in, year out, keep getting things that you would never use. I would hate that. Also, to keep sending gifts, thinking they would love it, and they would love me for choosing that gift, when in fact I was completely off the mark – that would be mortifying.
We have placed so many things between ourselves and God, ways of relating such as pleasing, fearing, or placating God, but it’s when we return to the love within that we initiate a relationship that is simple and clear, we leave the realm of human ideas to return to our inner heart.
The gift of being love beats socks any day.
‘Again, I remembered when my kids were learning to walk, they didn’t need to feel guilty that they couldn’t walk yet, nor seek forgiveness if they tripped and fell.’ I love this example. Its shows how hard we are on ourselves and how this hardness, if we were to be this way with our children would stunt their growth completely. I’m learning to see how critique and hardness do so much damage.
I would say what would God want for Christmas …. for us to stop having Christmas! Is it completely bastardised, made all to be about retail and not about truth or love at all. Just saying!
It’s great you could see this ‘if my kids didn’t grow up with the ability to make and be responsible for their own choices, I would somehow feel like I have failed them.’ On reflection though if everyone in the world all saw ourselves as being God’s kids my question is are we really taking full responsibility for all our choices? From observation of the world currently, I would say we are not doing this. 😶 But this doesn’t mean that it is God’s fault. It is no ones ‘fault’ and no one is to blame. I feel love, understanding (especially energetic) and compassion is needed here but I would say basically we just to pull our socks up and start taking responsibility, myself included, and this is said of course with love, understanding and compassion 🙃
Another prodigal son returning… that’s a pretty cool gift!
Love what you have shared Joel, as Love is the only thing that God would ask of his children and once retained it can then be shared equally with everyone who is open to that level of reflection.
There is no gift greater than knowing who we are, what we are made of, where we come from and what we are part of. It offers a level of ease in the body that, once lived, has an opportunity to be very practical in work, rest and play.
I once heard a Anglican bishop say this at a carol service ‘What children want from you is your presence, not presents.’
Curious to feel that the quality of relationship we have with everyone is the same relationship we’re having with God. God would want to us to relate to all others lovingly and equally, and a be true reflection of who he is.
I deeply know that I am the same love God’s love is. How could it be otherwise, he is around us and so also in us. It is quite an accomplishment to have God so near, even in us and not experience him every single day. And still I do.
We have really and I wonder if not deliberately so misinterpreted the meaning of the word God. We have so many ideals, beliefs and pictures of God but do they really represent the truth of God and I would say no. We have made so many false Gods to obscure the true meaning and understanding of who and what the word represents. And so I have to wonder why there has been a complete stitch up when it comes to this word what are we all avoiding?
Gods love is unconditional and his love is beholding. So for me the greatest gift is to love also unconditionally . . . mmmh how many of us are truly able to love like this?
Love is the gift that keeps on giving and keeps on growing.
In spite of what they claim, (mainstream) religions do not offer too much in terms of true guidance because they do not have truth as foundation.
This is such an expose on how small we’ve made ourselves and what an miss-interpretation of God we’ve hatched up. So lovely to start contemplating we are are this love too and really feel this truth and bring this to others to enjoy and feel they are love also.
Well said, your words remind me how held we all are in that Love.
A gift that we don’t have to wait until Christmas for and is not tied to just one day a year.
I love this Jennifer. An elder friend of mine sums it up well when she says ‘Everyday is Christmas’ We gift or bless people each day through the quality of our presence.
Finding our true relationship with Love and therefore with God has the most amazing effect along with a Deep-Humble-Appreciative-Ness that can only come from the level of Love that is available to all by being connected to our divine essences.
‘All he might be waiting for is for us to realise that we are the same love he is.’ How amazing this would be. It’s such a joy to be with children who are simply enjoying being themselves and expressing the love they are.
Joel you have such a beautiful way of presenting truth simply and succinctly, yet the power of what’s expressed is very deep. And what a great line “All he might be waiting for is for us to realise that we are the same love he is.” God is not waiting for presents but our equal presence.
The best gift we can ever give ourselves and God is to live the love that we are and this gift is priceless, eternal and it just keeps expanding.
Do you have an issue with the word and meaning of God? Then you allowed pictures and ideals in, that only have as their purpose to disconnect you to the source of divinity and power you are coming from. So that you seemingly “forget”, but never truly loose the truth, of being the same equal source.
We are here to represent God in everything that we do and move. The moment we see us as less we are disconnecting from the quality that otherwise can emanate through us and remind others of the same.
You touch on a point here that says would we want our children to be that way with us? and it could apply to any of ideas for presents you pose. I would certainly not want my children to have to work to impress me, be afraid of me, idolise me. The greatest gift they could offer me would be to be themselves by embracing, who they are, where they come from and what they are made from.
This I’m sure could be a long list and much conceived as personal. I reckon the best gift 💝 I could give God is turn my Light up, reflect his power, and therefore express his love within to all — all in All listen to my body talk, and walk what it is talking — have some responsible FUN.
Yes, because being and taking the responsibility is true fun, as there is nothing greater and more joyful than living the full you- in all its potential.
All these ideas about God are so far from the love God is, from the love we are too. They are ideas expressed through those not in connection. I knew this as a child when I heard all the lofty ideals about God. I felt so sad and depressed that we had settled for what wouldn’t truly inspire. Looking back now what’s interesting is how I did know truth but I didn’t claim it and live it for myself. I chose a comfortable life where I wanted to blame those seemingly in authority for not role modelling the truth, but when I didn’t either. I don’t have to conform to this arrangement any longer but can live and nurture the connection I already know to be true.