December 15th, 2019

Have you ever had to wait for something? I mean really wait for something! As Christmas gets closer and closer, there is more anticipation. Kids are so excited for what they will get, presents start to show up under the tree, and everyone plays the guessing game. Parents, start to imagine the look on their kids faces when they open their presents, hoping to get “that” smile! Gifts picked out for those we love, sit, waiting for the day they can be delivered. We look forward to that moment. And it’s not just Christmas. First dates, wedding days, graduations, new job, major award (yes, I had to get a “Christmas Story” reference in there!) or the birth of our child. With this time of the year, we often think about the Christmas story, and I often wonder what was going through the minds of Mary and Joseph. I mean, here is this young girl, pregnant, and waiting for the birth of a child, but her child will be no ordinary child. He is the Son of the Most High and He will save His people from their sins. For 9 months, she awaits the birth of this miracle, but His birth is not the end or the waiting. She waits and watches as He grows, 33 years. She knows that He is the Messiah, and her Savior, but still, she must wait. Then, on a dark Friday, He is crucified. He said that “it is finished” but what does that mean? His body is placed in a tomb, and she waits. The next morning, she and others go to the tomb, only to find that He isn’t there, and she waits. Her son, Jesus appears to her, and others, teaching and ministering for 40 days, and then tells them that He must return to the Father, but that He will return, and they wait. And so do we. The truth is that many of the things we anticipate, and wait for, don’t live up to the hype. But that is not the case with the return of Jesus. He IS coming back, and when He does, His arrival, and what follows will be like nothing we can imagine! It can’t fail to live up to the hype, because we aren’t able to build it up in our minds beyond what it will be! But, unlike Christmas, and graduations, and the other things we anticipate, the return of Jesus doesn’t have a date, not that we can know. Which, sometimes dampens our enthusiasm. Because we can’t put a date on it, we get complacent in our anticipation, but it should have the opposite effect. Knowing that any day, at any second, our Savior could return, should create a joy, an urgency, and an excitement in us that is impossible to contain, like a child going to be on Christmas eve, or a bride on the night before her wedding.