A New Christmas List

By Jeremy Fields, serving with Compassion and Mercy Associates in Mongolia

The following is an adapted excerpt from the Fieldses’ December update.

I visited my son’s sixth grade Bible class the other day to give a symposium on the relative similarity between stable conditions in the ancient Middle East and modern day Central Asia. We concluded that stables are, in fact, quite dark, cramped, cold, and filthy.

If we were to design our own nativity set today, we decided that Joseph would be frantically wrestling cows away from the manger (a contraption made up of 2x4s and old tires). The shepherd would be busy scooping up after his cute sheep, the fancy wise man would be rubbing his head after bumping it on the low ceiling, and Mary would be calming the baby Jesus with one hand—holding her nose with the other.

Jesus’ List

I couldn’t help but contrast that scene with the glorious throne room of God. And I began to imagine what Jesus’ Christmas List must have looked like—not a list of things he wanted, but things He would give up to enter this world: angelic surround-sound, a 3-D panorama vision of the Universe, premium preventative health care, omniscience . . .

These thoughts inspired our family to start a new “Christmas List.” We chose things that we might have to give up if we were to follow the example of the One who “made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). The kids pretty much put down everything they enjoy that they’d have to give up in order for the world to share in Christmas, including:

  • Our house (and most, if not all, of its plumbing )
  • Toys
  • Pets (we can get bigger, smellier ones!)
  • Books, music, and even our language
  • Friends and family
  • Comfort and security

We have spent a great deal of thought as a family about what would be on our Christmas list, and it will probably be our “best” Christmas ever. Strangely, giving up most of the things on this list for Jesus has actually magnified our joy!  Could it be that this is the essence of Christmas?

So what could you give up this next year in order to share Christmas with an unreached people group that has NEVER heard of Christmas or celebrated it before?

As you gather under the star (which points to the King) or the angel (which proclaims the Savior) on your Christmas tree, would you take a moment with your family to reflect on what Jesus gave up in order to share Christmas with us?  Then simply ask Him what He would have you put on His Christmas list so that others can join us in celebrating Him in the coming year.

What You Can Do

For your list, consider praying for Alliance workers worldwide to experience God’s peace, comfort, and joy—the spirit of Christmas all year round.


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