What is the only appropriate wish?

Christmas thoughts with regards to the ninth and the tenth commandments
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1. What are the things we should not wish? Christmas and New Year’s Eve are the times of wishes. We should not only ask from Jesus but we should give something to Him! Similarly: at New Year’s Day a lot of us formulate wishes related to their own lives. Perhaps this year we should vow that we will not vow anything? The ninth and the tenth commandments are not about that we should not covet a house, a wife or anything else that belong to someone else but they warn us that the earthly wishes and greed, the "I want to furnish the world as I have planned it" are all already rebellions against the will of God. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How is a real wish formulated in us? A lesson of my pilgrimage at the Holy Land. Those wishes that are not ours are often formulated in a quite specific way. Here I show you an example from my pilgrimage at the Holy Land. Jesus gave me a wish there. How may this "usually" happen? Very typically: "in pieces". We are too small to accept Jesus’ wishes in one piece. That is why He trains us gradually. He makes us to feel only one tiny bit of His wish. Then He shows another bit. Then the third one. And finally: He shows the whole picture together. It is only then (which may be months or years later!) when we understand what happened to us and why. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. What is the only appropriate wish? After all of these what can I wish my Readers for Christmas? To be able to say with all your hearts: "Thy will be done!" Believe me, my dear Reader, if you can say this from the bottom of your heart, from that moment on – grace will come to you. Every day will be a new blessing for you. But not only for you. For all the people who will be around you. Because at the very moment you will say "Thy will be done!" Christ will be born within you. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 


 

Introduction. This season’s essays are written about the Ten Commandments. With regard to the first commandment ("I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.") I wrote about the Christian identity. Interpreting the second and the third commandments ("Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Remember to keep holy the Lord's day.") I examined the concept of the real honoring of God. Regarding the fourth commandment ("Honor your father and your mother!") I was looking for the answer to what makes a dialogue determining in somebody’s life? The key idea of the answer is the openness to honor other people (e.g. our parents). Thinking over the fifth commandment ("Thou shalt not murder!") I showed that there are many ways to commit a murder in our everyday lives, and whom we kill when we are unable to forgive. I also thought it over what we must murder to become capable of accepting Jesus. Related to the sixth commandment ("Thou shalt not commit adultery!") I tried to find an answer to how we can avoid fornication and what purity means as a state of life. During the interpretation of the seventh commandment ("Thou shalt not steal!") I was looking for answers to the questions of what we can steal, what the opposite of theft is and when we do not steal from God. When thinking over the eighth commandment ("Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour!") I explored the issues of who is my neighbor, what insincerity and what real sincerity are. With regards to the ninth and the tenth commandments ("Thou shalt not covet neighbor's house! Thou shalt not covet neighbor's wife, slaves, animals, or anything else!") I was looking for answers to the questions of what we should not wish for and what is the only appropriate wish.

 

1. What are the things we should not wish?

 

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are the times of wishes. Most of us return to childhood and write extreme long lists to Jesus in their heads about what do they want to celebrate themselves with – exactly when? When we should celebrate Jesus instead of ourselves... We should not only ask from Jesus but we should give something to Him! In those families where everything goes fine, we often forget that we should not wish for even more stuff besides the piles of stuffs we already have; we should not wish for even more happiness for ourselves beside our already existing happiness but we should give the stuff we wished for to the needy and we should wish health for the ill. Similarly: at New Year’s Day a lot of us formulate wishes related to their own lives. New Year’s Day is the time of vows. A lot of vows are made on impulse and they fade away in a couple of weeks. Perhaps this year we should vow that we will not vow anything? The ninth and the tenth commandments are not about that we should not covet a house, a wife or anything else that belong to someone else but they warn us that the earthly wishes and greed, the "I want to furnish the world as I have planned it" are all already rebellions against the will of God.

 

Christmases prearranged by us are regularly turned upside down by God. With His huge sense of humor and creativity that is how Our Lord trains us to recognize that we are not at the center of the world but He is... Recently I was given a nice story about this by my pastor, Péter Grendorf at our Bible class: "There is a long line at the post office before Christmas. The gentleman standing at the end of the line is screaming with a red face with thick veins on his neck: "Is there anybody working at this post office at all??? It is IN-CRE-DIB-LE that we have to wait for so long!!!" Shaken by anger he drops a lot of postcards wishing a "Peaceful Christmas!"... – I am not sure that this is how a perfect Christmas should look like...

 


 

2. How is a real wish formulated in us? A lesson of my pilgrimage at the Holy Land

 

Between November 14 and 27 it was the first time I’ve been to the Holy Land. The fifty members’ pilgrimage group has visited the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Mount Tabor and Mount Carmel, the location of Jesus’ baptism at the Jordan River (which is "by the way" is the location where Jordan River was divided in the cases of Joshua, Elijah and Elisha), as well as Qumran, Bethlehem and the most important holy places of Jerusalem. My greatest fear concerning the trip was that the crowd of tourists will "hide" Jesus. We had only 4 seconds for the Bethlehem manger and the Holy Sepulchre each – after three hours’ of queuing. The Upper Room has become an oxygen-free sardine can. People were thronging up to the Golgotha. (I wonder how many of us would line up if the condition of getting to the Golgotha was crucifixion for us, too...) BUT: Jesus is stronger than anything. On the Golgotha He has given us dignity, emotional depth, holiness, the calmness of "accomplished" (tetelestai), silence, permanence, and the feeling that the earth here may touch the sky. He has given us the exploding joy in the empty Holy Sepulchre. He showed us that the resurrection had been the natural consequence of the crucifixion. Just like God’s voice and being led to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit were after the baptism of Jesus.

 

Those wishes that are not ours are often formulated in a quite specific way. Let me take you an example from my pilgrimage at the Holy Land. Jesus gave me a wish there. How may this "usually" happen? Very typically: "in pieces". We are too small to accept Jesus’ wishes in one piece. That is why He trains us gradually. He makes us to feel only one tiny bit of His wish. Then He shows another bit. Then the third one. And finally: He shows the whole picture together. It is only then (which may be months or years later!) when we understand what happened to us and why.

 

What is my story of a wish’s birth? At first I thought what Apostle Peter did: "Lord, it is good for us to be here." (Mt 17:4). Then I thought that I had to come back somewhere here. At that time I had no idea how, why and where. Then I felt that it was so much comforting not to feel anything about the purpose or location of my return because not thinking immediately to the goal, just waiting in happy silence were not characteristics of human thinking. Then I thought that what a beautiful desert it was in Qumran. Then that wait a minute, this was the place where the Holy Spirit had lead Jesus after His baptism. Then that I was not allowed to swim in the Dead Sea but I had to pray instead. Then that "it came to my mind" to ask Jesus to show me something about what He experienced during the 40 days’ wandering in the wilderness. Then came the climax: Jesus started to speak in me and He said with a great affection in His voice: "You know, I wanted to show you that." I realized only much later that He told me this because I was not yet up to see it because I could not comprehend it. Then what beautiful monasteries there are in the desert next to Qumran. Eventually things fit together only a few days later (suddenly, like a shock): one day I have to go back to one of the monasteries in the desert in order to let Jesus show me something. When I am writing this I still have no idea when, for how long and where. I have no idea what He wants to show me. But I’m not worried at all and I do not make any plans. I am perfectly confident that exactly when the proper time comes I will know where, when, why and for how long I have to go. It is so lovely and beautiful like this when the Holy Spirit leads us. It is the most beautiful expedition a man can wish because we explore our Lord Himself who is the Totality. Totality of freedom from our own desires which lock us to our own ego.

 


 

3. What is the only appropriate wish?

 

After all of these what can I wish my Readers for Christmas? Only one thing. Because there is nothing more and nothing else that is worth it. To be able to say with all your hearts: "Thy will be done!" Believe me, my dear Reader, if you can say this from the bottom of your heart, from that moment on – grace will come to you. Every day will be a new blessing for you. But not only for you. For all the people who will be around you. Because at the very moment you will say "Thy will be done!" Christ will be born within you. And every single day Christ will be born again and again within you as long as you live. And after that, too. That is what I wish to You for Christmas – with all my heart.

 

 

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