What do you want for Christmas this year?

It’s already Christmas Eve, folks, so it’s probably too late to be making a Christmas list of gifts you’d like to find under the tree tomorrow morning. But, what about your grown-up Christmas list? You know the song, don’t you?

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
That time would heal all hearts
That every man would have a friend
That right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

So, what are you wishing for this Christmas Eve?

Last Sunday, my pastor preached on having humble hearts that are amazed at the Gospel. Well, I’ve been pondering world problems lately (that seems to be a habit of mine), and today I’ve wondered if I can stand in awe at the Gospel of Jesus in face of the world’s harshest realities. Could I stand in the middle of the war zone in South Sudan today and be in awe of Jesus? Can I sit with a trafficked woman and be caught up in wonder at how Jesus’ coming transforms her reality? Can I walk alongside sick friends, sad friends, and friends grappling with loss, divorce, and broken relationships – can I be near to their pain and yet brim with hope in Jesus? Can I sit in the gutter with the alcoholic, homeless man on my way to work, and in that moment be amazed at Jesus?

I’ve been thinking through world problems lately (that seems to be a habit of mine), and wondering if I can stand in awe at the Gospel of Jesus in face of the world’s harshest realities. Could I stand in the middle of the warzone in South Sudan and be in awe of Jesus? Can I sit with a trafficked woman and be caught up in wonder at how Jesus’ coming transforms reality? Can I walk alongside sick friends, sad friends, and friends grappling with loss, divorce, and broken relationships – can I be near to their pain and yet brim with hope in Jesus? Can I sit in the gutter with the alcoholic, homeless man on my way to work, and in that moment be amazed at Jesus?

I mean, if God becoming flesh and coming to earth all those years ago was really good news, then it should still be good news! I should still be in awe of that reality, no matter what situation I find myself in. Right?

Well, yeah. If it’s true.

Here’s a challenge.

If you find it hard to be in awe of Jesus, I challenge you to be honest – tell the Lord that. Then, ask Him for help. Ask Him to teach you how – or IF! – He is good news in that situation most on your mind.

And don’t stop there. Jesus shouldn’t be good news only in our minds. If He is good news, He must be good news in reality. This Gospel is transformative! Ask God to show you the power of the Gospel to transform. Then, begin to go out and get near to the situations that need to be transformed. Go with Emmanuel. And, see how Jesus shows up when you step out in faith.

Maybe the Gospel has grown dull on your ears because you’ve begun believing you don’t need God – or at least living like you don’t. Ask God to show you again that you need Jesus. Ask for the grace of being poor in spirit – totally dependent on God – like the infant Jesus was dependent on the care of His mother.

Nativity 3

Or, maybe you’ve been disappointed? Maybe God didn’t break into a past situation like you expected, and now, well, you’re more than a little cynical or worn out on this so-called “good news.” That’s a valid discussion to have with God. But don’t do all the talking. Stop and hear how He responds to your disappointment and disillusion. God is near to those who call on Him in truth.

As for me, I believe Jesus is good news – for ALL the world! I believe He is the desire of nations. I believe He is the longing of human hearts!

And, yesterday, as I visited a trafficked woman, I was suddenly caught off-guard. As we talked, I found myself amazed afresh at Jesus. The Gospel fit! It applied to her reality – right there in that small, dark room! The room felt different when His name was invoked, when we considered how He changes the equation she’s caught in. Wow.

No matter what concern lies heavy on your heart – at the top of your grown-up Christmas list – I believe Jesus’ coming has good news to bring to bear in that situation. If the gospel of Jesus works on the streets of Bangkok, it might just work where you’re at today.

No matter what concern lies heavy on your heart – at the top of your grown-up Christmas list – I believe Jesus’ coming has good news to bring to bear in that situation. If the gospel of Jesus works here, it might just work where you’re at today.

I wonder what life would look like if we all stood in awe of the good news of Jesus day by day in 2014. Wanna find out? 🙂


Would you pray that in 2014 I am filled everyday to overflowing with the hope of the Gospel of Jesus? That is my grown up Christmas wish, and my prayer for each of you as I write this.

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About Jennie Joy

I'm a lover and truth-seeker. This blog is a place for me to share my thoughts, struggles, and sincere searchings as I get to know God and welcome the reality of His kingdom in and through me.

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