Well, we crossed the threshold into Advent on Sunday. As my thoughts have been turning towards the Advent season, and the coming of Christmas, I found myself thinking about gifts I would like to give, and gifts I would like to receive. After a good bit of meandering, I landed on what I most want to ask from God, the greatest gift he could give me.
That's what I want. That's what I most need.
I thought of something CS Lewis wrote: "God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing." All else that I long for is either found in God, and only good in him, or, I can do without if I truly have God. This is really the greatest gift we could ever receive.
Then my thoughts turned to some dear souls who live with diminished views of Jesus and the gospel he preached. I see how sad their experience is, how limited, even bound, and again I found myself realizing what an enormous gift it is to have God as he really is, have his gospel as it really is. The torment of misunderstanding can be awful, as those who live under the common Christianity-as-guilt know very well. As do those who live without his nearness, or counsel, or deliverance. To know God truly, to have him truly is the only life there is.
Which then led me to something I'd read recently in MacDonald (this is how my quiet times go, one thought leading to another): "The God and Father of Jesus Christ could never possibly be satisfied with less than giving himself to his own."
That is what I want.
This is what I'm asking for.
O Jesus, give us yourself, as you truly are.