“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, . . .” ~Isaiah 64:1a (NIV)
On the way to work, I heard the song “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which playfully answers the most popular question asked this time of the year: What do you want for Christmas? As I listened to the lyrics I thought about the simple message of this upbeat Christmas love song. The singer, Mariah Carey, is in a romantic
relationship. So, she is not concerned with the trappings of a commercial Christmas like reindeer, snow, Santa, a Christmas tree or even the presents she might find under it. The only thing she wants for Christmas is the presence of her man.
This song illustrates how any relationship---wife to husband, mother to child, or even father to child, can prompt people to earnestly ask for presence not presents for Christmas. Maybe that’s why, one hundred years before the first Noel, the prophet Isaiah begins the church’s prayer to God with this impassioned plea, “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down”! (Isaiah 64:1a) Their covenant relationship with God prompts these Jewish captives to corporately plead for God to crack open the sky and come down to deliver them as He had said. (Exodus 3:8)
This season of Advent is a time for remembering God’s promise to send us a Savior. It’s also a time for us to fervently ask God afresh and anew to act on our behalf. That was Isaiah’s prayer. Shouldn’t it be ours also? What do you want for Christmas?
Dear God, Thank you for the privilege of prayer and for your promise to come down to deliver us in our distress when we cry out to you! Bless us to patiently wait for your presence during this Advent season knowing you will show up just like you said. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
God’s presence is the best present at Christmas!