|Do you tend to relegate Jesus to a genie? I admit to that|
and it's wrong.
I was born in a Christian family, so I don't have any idea of what the Catholics feel if they complete the "Simbang Gabi" from December 16 to 24. But myths have it that if you make a "grand slam", then your wishes will be granted. However, I got inspired to do this article thanks to the latest installment of the Youtube series "Tales from the Friendzone". The latest webisode is about a girl who's in love with her bestfriend and wished that he would tell his feelings to her too. Looking for a sign, she completed the Simbang Gabi. Although she got what she wanted, the advice to her from the host Ramon Bautista is for me the key here. He said, "Grabe ka naman Cleverlyn (not the protagonist's real name)! Magsi-Simbang Gabi ka para humingi ka ng wish. GINAWA MO NAMANG GENIE SI JESUS."
Emphasizing on the sentence in all caps, it's a reality we're in right now. Even I am guilty of this. We sometimes relegate the Lord Jesus Christ to a wish-granter. I even remember what my pastor once said, "We tend to fit our big God to a small box." Let us remember that Jesus is definitely not a genie. He's our Lord, our Master. If He's a genie, he would grant all our wishes, even those that He doesn't like to be granted. That's where His Lordship comes. He knows what everyone REALLY needs. He sometimes says no to some of our prayers because He has a better thing in mind for you.
About Simbang Gabi, it's OK if you have a prayer request, or in this case a "wish", but Ramon is right about it. Simbang Gabi is not really meant to grant wishes. It's a channel to give thanks to the Lord for what He did to you the entire year. With even the Protestants like us also having our own Simbang Gabi, I make sure that I will be there to listen to what God has to say for the Yuletide.
In the end, Jesus is everything we want Him to be. He is the Almighty God, and He can do everything. But all He asks for us is to let Him take the driver's seat. Let's put Him at the center of our lives and we should not try to turn Him to a mere somebody. Let His bigness consume us, and you will experience something awesome. Merry Christmas again!
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)-For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.