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Tag: anticipation

The Anticipation Isn’t Over

Grinch

My son calls me the Grinch. I have this weird thing about me that I like to have all the Christmas decorations down before starting the New Year. I’m torn about it. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, as the song goes. I’m filled with whimsical sorrow as I wrap up the nativity scene and stow away the ornaments for another year. However, part of me gets excited because the anticipation isn’t over.

Jesus came into the world as every baby does—hungry for milk, unable to control his arms and legs, eventually sucking his fist. Our great God donned a frail, tiny human body made in his image. He was born in a dirty stable to a young woman and a modest, hard-working carpenter. There was no pomp and circumstance. The innkeeper continued with his duties, unaware of the miracle in the barn outside. The guests dined and slept peacefully in their rooms while the humble savior of the world lay in a feeding trough. God could have chosen to have His Son born in the Bethlehem version of a Four Season’s hotel or a luxurious palace with parades, singing, and dancing as the world rejoices at his arrival.

But that’s not how it happened.

God chose such humble beginnings to break down the barriers between a perfect God and imperfect man. He didn’t don royal robes. He removed them to cloth himself in swaddling cloth so that we might connect with Him, relate to a flesh-and-blood man, feel His love without shame, and let Him wash away our sins. All because our God is a relational God.

I get excited to put away the Christmas decorations because it symbolizes preparing for what God is doing next. Our anticipation shouldn’t get tucked into a box and stuffed in the attic until next year. We need to ready our hearts for His return because next time, He won’t come as a tiny baby. He’ll return as the crowned King in all His strength, might, and splendor. A single star’s light won’t shine to guide a group of shepherds. Jesus will shine bright in all His glory for all to see. This time there won’t merely be a few magi paying their respects. Instead, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus as Lord.

In Bethlehem, Jesus was born to be the sacrificial lamb. When He returns, He will come as the Lion of Judah.

Hallelujah, come Lord Jesus!

Lion

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Girl under Christmas Tree

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Girl making list under the Christmas Tree

“Is it time yet?” A gallon of Redbull doesn’t compare to Christmas anticipation. The merry gentlemen may be resting but the holiday electrifies little children as they countdown the weeks, days, and eventually hours.

My legs used to wiggle under the covers, and my ears strained for the sound of jingle bells or reindeer hooves on the rooftop. My brother refused to sleep until the moment of Christmas arrived. He’d call out, “Is it time yet? Is it Christmas?”

If you enjoy sleep, Christmas Eve at my house was not the place to be. We’d rouse our parents every fifteen minutes to see if it was time to open presents. By the time morning arrived, Mom would drag her sleep-deprived body out of bed and stumble to get a cup of coffee. Dad would get their revenge by making us wait at the top of the stairs while he checked to see if Santa truly paid a visit.

The anticipation was almost our undoing. Permeant smiles fixed on our faces, and the occasional nervous giggle burst through our lips. Our hands gripped the railing and our feet danced beneath us, ready to bolt the moment we were given the okay.

Are we looking for the return of God the same way?

Matthew 24:42 and 44 says, “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming… You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Are we prepared?

Do we wait with expectancy, or have we become complacent like the foolish bridesmaids from Matthew 25:1-4? “The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.”

Are we staying awake with anticipation?

Sleeping Santa

Matthew 25 continues: “The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 
The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.”

Are we ready for the banquet or late for the party?

The decorations are set, dishes prepared, and table arranged for a wedding feast. Jesus awaits his bride. Are we anxiously anticipating the day our Bridegroom arrives? Are our oil lamps full? Have we set our hearts right?

As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’s birth, let us not forget the reason He came.

And that He’s coming again.

Girl with lamp waiting expectantly

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