What is your favorite part of the Christmas season? Is it the rush of adrenaline associated with finding just the right gift for the special people in your life? Do you look forward to the lights and decorations that will sparkle in your home and neighborhood? Perhaps it’s the planning and preparing of special holiday meals and treats. Regardless of what we enjoy best, Christmastime is upon us, with not only the excitement, but the expectations of the season.
Speaking of expectations, how are yours this year? Do you expect the garland to glitter perfectly and all the bulbs to be lit when you untangle your lights? Are you anticipating the perfect gift for each person on your list to be found in the first store you enter? How ‘bout those treats? Do visions of sugarplums and beautifully frosted cookies dance in your head? We all have expectations, and each year some are more easily realized than others.
For generations the people of God had waited expectantly. The wait was very long and when Jesus, the Messiah came it was most unexpected. The people’s expectations were of a King coming down from Heaven in majesty and might, dressed in royal robes, perhaps accompanied by a Heavenly army. Jesus came so humbly that many did not recognize him. Only a few were watching, waiting and open to the message of His birth. Many missed out on the joy of getting to know Him because they didn’t take time to learn who He really was.
What about us? In all of our expectations for Christmas, do we miss the One whose birth we mark this time of year? Will Jesus be restricted to Christmas carols, pageants and Sunday morning sermons? Will we get so wrapped up in the gifts and the hype demanding our attention that we forget the baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a feed trough?
Christmas is a time of anticipation. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with gifts and glitter, lights and cookies. But I invite you to join me in another sense of expectation this Christmas season. As we anticipate the wonder of Christmas let’s take time each day to reflect and remember the One born to be the Prince of Peace and to forgive the sins of the world. May we not miss out on the joy of Jesus because we don’t take the time to learn who He really is and why He came. Let’s add to this year’s expectations the anticipation of growing closer to our Savior and getting to know Him better.
blessings and Christmas peace!
This is an excerpt of my book “Cherish This Christmas”
To jubilate the release of my debut book, I’m celebrating and inviting you to join along!