What Does Jesus Want for Christmas?by John Piper on December 14, 2021
Hope all is well with you, your families, the ministry that the Lord entrusted you with, and that you are having a great Christmas season!
The GOGCC leadership team had a meeting this morning, a great time of fellowship, discussion, and prayer and we were very encouraged and stirred to be restarting the GOGCC meetings in 2022!
One of the things we talked about this morning is recognizing the Holy Spirit work among us on the Cape, that allowed us to break barriers and meet together as pastors and leaders and as churches for 18 years now. We were reminded of pastor Myron Heckman's encouraging word at the Sandwich gathering in September, that in his role as an interim pastor in 2 different locations in 2 different states, he looked for either a pastor's fellowship or for multi-church prayer gathers and he found none. Pastor Stephen Russell noted that in talking with his pastor friends off Cape, what the Lord has been doing among us is precious and uncommon.
We also recognize that the Lord is stirring more and more pastors/leaders and churches across the USA and beyond to start gathering across churches, denominations and ethnic group and to recognize that we one body and one family! Soli Deo Gloria!!
Let us start 2022 fresh, recognizing the precious Holy Spirit work among us, and continuing to be good stewards of such work, growing in unity and becoming one body and one family as the Lord is stirring and calling us to be!
Mark Your Calendar for our First GOGCC Gathering for 2022:
GOGCC Cape-wide multi-church Gathering
6:30 -8:00 pm
IPR Cape Cod Church
90 Hinckley Rd. Hyannis MA 02601
We look forward to seeing you then!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Glory of God on Cape Cod team
What Does Jesus Want for Christmas
by John Piper
What does Jesus want this Christmas? We can see the answer in his prayers. What does he ask God for? His longest prayer is John 17. Here is the climax of his desire: "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am" (v. 24).
Among all the undeserving sinners in the world, there are those whom God has "given to Jesus." These are those whom God has drawn to the Son (John 6:44, 65). These are Christians - people who have "received" Jesus as the crucified and risen Savior and Lord and Treasure of their lives (John 1:12; 10:11, 17-18; 20:28; 6:35; 3:17). Jesus says he wants them to be with him.
Sometimes we hear people say that God created man because he was lonely. So they say, "God created us so that we would be with him." Does Jesus agree with this? Well, he does say that he really wants us to be with him! Yes, but why? Consider the rest of the verse. Why does Jesus want us to be with him?
. . . to see my glory that you [Father] have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
That would be a strange way of expressing his loneliness.
"I want them with me so they can see my glory." In fact it doesn't express his loneliness. It expresses his concern for the satisfaction of our longing, not his loneliness. Jesus is not lonely. He and the Father and the Spirit are profoundly satisfied in the fellowship of the Trinity. We, not he, are starving for something. And what Jesus wants for Christmas is for us to experience what we were really made for - seeing and savoring his glory.
Oh, that God would make this sink in to our souls! Jesus made us (John 1:3) to see his glory. Just before he goes to the cross he pleads his deepest desires with the Father: "Father, I desire - I desire! - that they . . . may be with me where I am, to see my glory."
But that is only half of what Jesus wants in these final, climactic verses of his prayer. I just said we were really made for seeing and savoring his glory. Is that what he wants - that we not only see his glory but savor it, relish it, delight in it, treasure it, love it? Consider verse 26, the very last verse:
I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.
That is the end of the prayer. What is Jesus' final goal for us? Not that we simply see his glory, but that we love him with the same love that the Father has for him: "that the love with which you [Father] have loved me may be in them." Jesus' longing and goal is that we see his glory and then that we be able to love what we see with the same love that the Father has for the Son. And he doesn't mean that we merely imitate the love of the Father for the Son. He means the Father's very love becomes our love for the Son - that we love the Son with the love of the Father for the Son. This is what the Spirit becomes and bestows in our lives: Love for the Son by the Father through the Spirit.
What Jesus wants most for Christmas is that his elect be gathered in and then get what they want most - to see his glory and then savor it with the very savoring of the Father for the Son.
What I want most for Christmas this year is to join you (and many others) in seeing Christ in all his fullness and that we together be able to love what we see with a love far beyond our own half-hearted human capacities.
This is what Jesus prays for us this Christmas: "Father, show them my glory and give them the very delight in me that you have in me." Oh, may we see Christ with the eyes of God and savor Christ with the heart of God. That is the essence of heaven. That is the gift Christ came to purchase for sinners at the cost of his death in our place.