Friday, December 24, 2010

Waiting for Christmas

Christmas is less than 24 hours away and my son is bouncing off the walls. He can hardly contain himself...he is rotating between me, his dad, and his sister, looking for someone to help him contain his excitement. Since we open one gift every Christmas Eve, he is already bugging us to open that gift NOW since it is technically already Christmas Eve day. The rest of the family is content to lie around in a lazy fashion, slowly preparing for tomorrow's "festivities" and all that entails.

What is the difference? Well, part of it is that my son has been sick with the flu for the past 3 days and now he's finally feeling better. The rest of us have been "getting ready" for a while and to be honest, we are kind of tired.

Some of you are already making the connection. You already see this random thought coming.

I got to thinking, this is a lot like the people who were waiting on the Messiah 2000+ years ago....and those of us waiting today. My son is so excited. He has felt the pain of sickness and now finally sees and feels the celebration of the season. He is like the shepherds or the wise men. Those of us who have been well for a while have worn ourselves out. We are like....well, everyone else! Like a person who has newly realized that Christ came to save us, my son is excited! He wants to move and "DO" something! Those of us who have known "Christmas" for a while have grown weary. We've forgotten what we are working toward...or maybe we've just gotten too tied up in the "working for" part. Those shepherds did nothing but show up. The wise men did do some traveling, but it wasn't like their traveling caused Christ to be born. Even Mary - although I'm sure she had to do some preparation to give birth - it's not like she "made it happen." God did it all....we simply get to respond to the gift He gave.

Today, I pray for each of us to find the excitement of knowing that our Savior has come...that we don't grow weary in the preparation of the event and miss the joy. Christmas - the preparation for that first one required saying yes to whatever God had in store. It required taking whatever was in front of you, even if it was just a simple manger, and dedicating it to His service. It required recognizing that God is with us...and that it meant good tidings of great joy that were to be for all people. It was filled with hope for tomorrow! It required...well, just us to be there to receive.

No wonder my son is so excited! He is finally free from that which held him captive on the couch for three days and he is ready to celebrate! May our hearts recognize that we've been set free from a much greater sickness - that of sin - and now we have been given a gift. Here's hoping your day is filled with the anticipation of the only gift that never gets old, never wears out, never breaks or gets boring - the gift of our Savior.

Merry Christmas, and in an adaptation of the words of Tiny Tim, "God has blessed us, everyone."

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