The light is turned off and the door closes. As my parents leave my room, I’m left alone in the dark to try to sleep, which seems impossible. My mind fills with thoughts of wonder and excitement. Anticipation builds as I look forward to the activities which will fill the following morning- stockings will be brought down from the mantle, gifts will be unwrapped, and a meal will be shared with the family.
This is the beauty of the night before Christmas as a child. Little did I know that the anticipation I felt ultimately pointed to a greater reality. It’s a truth we celebrate together as Believers during this Christmas season: Advent. In Advent, we see how God’s people longed for the Messiah for so many years. They anticipated this coming Anointed One, knowing that He would bring salvation to many. They thought He would rescue them from their captivity and bring healing to their hearts that were broken when they were ripped from their home land. But as those blessed to look back, we know that the Promised One rescued us from the greater captivity of sin and death.
As Believers in Jesus, we understand the anticipation God’s people felt as they longed for this Savior. We understand because we feel this anticipation, too. We know that He who is mighty has done a great thing by sending His Son. We know that He has shown mercy to those who fear Him (Luke 2:49-50). We look back and can see the miracle that is God in the flesh. Yet, we also look forward to the day that King Jesus returns, this time not in a manger, but in triumph to usher in the New Creation. We anticipate that day and say with John, “Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
So here’s my word of encouragement to you: may the days that lead up to Christmas be a time to reflect on what God has done for us. Treasure this true story in your heart as Mary did when she considered what God was doing at the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:19). Think about the discontentment that God’s people felt as they waited for His arrival.
May it drive you to worship as you remember that this discontentment we feel now will come to an end. Just as God kept His promise then, so He will keep His promise to us now. He will return, and through Him, all things will be made right