As a boy, I spent many December nights tucked in bed thinking about my Christmas wish list. Our family was of modest means, so I knew that my dreams of the latest Schwinn bike with all the bells and whistles, or a Red Ryder air rifle were probably in vain but I dreamt of them anyway. Today, people want that big screen TV or the latest electronic gadget. We see ads with pictures of new cars with big, red bows on them. These are the things that often represent our heart’s desire, even if they are out of reach for us.
In today’s Psalm, David thanks God for granting him his heart’s desire: unending blessings, a long life, victory over his enemies, and the joy of God’s presence. Isaiah depicts a bleaker scene, one where the Jews have been vanquished by their enemies and their land overrun. But even here we catch a glimmer of hope where we hear singing, “Glory to the Righteous One.” In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul gives us a slightly different suggestion; a life lived to please God, and marked by self-control, self-sufficiency and love for one another.
Advent is a time when we are increasingly focused on our heart’s desire, but this Advent, we can do more than wish for material things, things we probably don’t need anyway. We can pray for the desire that was placed in our hearts by God, the desire for a closer relationship with Jesus. He came once long ago and walked among us, He will come again to rule over the earth, and right now, we can welcome Him into our lives and into our hearts. And unlike those Christmas wish lists of old, this is one where our heart’s desire will be fulfilled and our dreams will not be in vain.