And just like that, Christmas day has come and gone. All the excitement and anticipation that led up to December 25th passed in the blink of an eye. Another 364 days until it comes again. This sounds like such a depressing post so far...oh but keep reading!
As a kid, I had so much excitement for Christmas day! I remember many times when my brother and I would snoop around for our gifts, and even one time we unwrapped some of them to grab a peek and then wrapped them back! Needless to say, Mom was NOT happy when we got caught! From then on, she had a coding system so we wouldn’t know who’s gifts were who’s. Somewhere along the way though, it seems as adults we have lost the anticipation that we once had as a child. Anticipation is something we all experience; whether it be a relationship, new job, new city, child, etc., we anticipate things, big and small, that seem to be very temporary.
Did you know that because of Christmas, we have great anticipation that is lasting? Because Jesus came as a baby, because He lived a sinless life, died a sinner's death and then conquered the grave, we have hope and celebration that He is seated on the throne at the right hand of the Father (Matthew 26:64)! Have we lost the excitement that Jesus is Lord? Have we lost the anticipation that He will be returning for His children one day?
The story of our eternity is just beginning with the birth of Jesus! BUT... we see in Luke chapter 2 and we learn from Simeon that of all the things God could ask us to do as we anticipate His return, He asks us to WAIT! Oh boy, that’s not exactly my favorite thing to do - matter of fact, I really don’t like it!
Luke 2:25-35 "At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.
I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people.
He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
The Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. So Simeon traveled to the temple daily, patiently awaiting the arrival of the King. Can you imagine his obedience and trust that God would do what He said He would do? What is it that you need to be trusting and waiting on God for?"
As Simeon waited and listened to God, so must we. We learn from David in Psalms that God asks us to wait in three ways:
1. Quietly: Psalm 62:5 “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.”
Waiting is hard enough, but quietly waiting? That means no grumbling or complaining. That means that God is powerful and His plan is perfect!
2. Patiently: Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him”
A fretful, discontented spirit is open to many temptations. When we are waiting on God to lead us or guide us in a certain area, we have to understand that His timing is not our timing. We must be still and know that he is God (Psalm 46:10)!
3. Expectantly: Psalm 130:5 “That is why I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised.”
When we pray, we should pray expecting God to move in a mighty way! He wants His children to be confident in His perfect will when we bring our petitions before Him! Praying scripture and speaking back those promises that He gave us in His Word is a powerful thing!
NOW...We must not get the “waiting” confused with laziness! We must enjoy the journey that the Lord has us on. As we wait and anticipate what the Lord has for us and His return, we must serve Him and be faithful to our calling as believers.
"Waiting on God is never a waste of time.
In fact, it's some of the best time you are
ever going to invest in your life.”
- Rick Warren
Because of Christmas, we have great anticipation that Christ is going to return for His children. What a beautiful promise and expression of love for all that believe on Jesus as their Savior!
I want to leave you with an old hymn written in 1744, which Meredith Andrews (the artist), added a bridge to. Listen to the song, but really focus on these lyrics:
You draw the hearts of shepherds
You draw the hearts of kings
Even as a baby, You were changing everything
You called me to Your Kingdom
Before Your lips could speak
And even as a baby, You were reaching out for me
And now we are awaiting
The day of Your return
When every eye will see You
As heaven comes to earth
Until the sky is opened
Until the trumpet sounds
The bride is getting ready
The church is singing out
Laura is a pastor's wife, mom to two crazy fun kids, part-time marketing director, loves hanging out in her community and building relationships...oh and loves to laugh!