What God wants for Christmas


Marti, Chandler and I were discussing Christmas yesterday when the question came up: “What do you think God would like for Christmas?” and Chandler said, matter-of-factly, as if everyone knew this, that God would like a surfboard. Now before you jump to judgment or laughter over this, as I first did, give the thought a little consideration. Chandler’s comments on things like this, if he’s not joking (and he rarely is), are well worth thinking about, because they usually hide a deeper truth.

First, Chandler was dead serious about this answer, and second, he answered the question, “What would God like for Christmas?” by telling us what he would want, and what is wrong with that? Isn’t the best gift something you would like yourself — so much so that it’s a little hard to give because you wish you could keep it?

To be sure, there may be a lot more noble answers to this question, such as world peace, or less quarreling, or eliminating hunger, or even that we would all accept His free gift of salvation (I came up with that one), but the problem with all of these types of answers is that they depend on us making changes that we are largely inadequate to make by ourselves. We are hardly giving God a gift when we are depending on Him to accomplish it. God is already engaging us in all these things by His Holy Spirit. So what could we give Him when we are already seeking to give Him all of ourselves in the first place? What could we give God for Christmas when He already has everything? Well … how about a surfboard?

In giving God what we already want for ourselves, we would be entering into His humanity, and letting Him in on ours. We would be participating in HIs incarnation by acknowledging that He became one of us, and therefore understands our needs, wants and desires. He gets it that Chandler would like a surfboard for Christmas, and for Chandler to want God to have one too, is the true and natural result of a good relationship. It’s actually a beautiful thing Chandler is expressing.

It’s the part of a relationship with God that He desires the most — to engage with us over our daily lives. As Marti likes to say, “Love is not the big things we say, but the little things we do.” God wants our attention in everything, so for Chandler to want God to have a surfboard for Christmas is nothing less than an act of worship. He wants God to share in the joy he has, which happens to be the reason He made us.

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” reads the Westminister Catechism of the Presbyterian church. In my book, that would most definitely include surfing. Hmmm … maybe God would like a surfboard for Christmas after all.

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6 Responses to What God wants for Christmas

  1. mitchteemley says:

    Something I’m sure the original Big Kahuna would love! Merry Christmas, John!

  2. Markus says:

    I appreciate the Catch a lot, but this one is a real gem! I really think that Chandler opened your eyes to some heavenly wisdom here!


  3. Peter Leenheer says:

    I would like to give God two tickets to an Oiler ice hockey game so the two of us could go together. Just as God would love to go surfing with Chandler so he would like to go with me to a hockey game.
    I teach children that God likes to hang out with them. To kids that means they play legos together, play dolls together, lay on your back and look at the sky together, snowboard together, and so on.
    A very thoughtful and thought provoking catch.

  4. Mark Seguin says:

    I would like to give God thanks… 🙂

  5. Peter Leenheer says:

    Mark Seguin what a beautiful word….thanks. Well said!!!!

  6. Peter Leenheer says:

    Psalm 100:4 says enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. So I would like to add praise to the list of what to give God. Praise brings us into his most intimate presence and so does thanks. So giving God a surfboard is like saying, “Hey Lord let us go surfing together”. Enjoying God’s world together is definitely a gift to God. The gift of relationship filled with praise and thanks. In Chariot’s of Fire, Eric Liddell says,”When I run I feel God’s pleasure”. I yearn to feel God’s pleasure all the time and it starts by enjoying the gift of life he gave me and giving him every ounce of credit. It is a gift that keeps on giving in both directions.

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