Everyone thinks I hate Christmas, because I kind of do. I become so frustrated by the commercialism of Christmas. I dread the busy days that are spent getting the perfect gift, having the perfect meal or having a perfect tree. I just don’t like how busy of a time it is.
But, I actually love Christmas. (I mean who doesn’t love the deep theological hymns that come at Christmas?! I sing them all year). I love the life it brought to this earth thousands of years ago so that we have a reason to celebrate. I love advent and the season of anticipation and waiting. I love that each day leading up to Christmas I am reminded that my sin has no hold on me because of the cross.
Advent is a noun that literally means the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. Advent in the Christmas season is the arrival of Jesus, the most important gift we have ever been given and ever will be given. The birth of Jesus was, what I perceive as, the most anticipated event in history. When we are reading scripture we flip from Malachi in the Old Testament to the New Testament and BOOM. Jesus is born and the life of Christ begins. The thing most people don’t know though is that 400 years of waiting occurred before the birth of Christ.
400 years, people. 400 years of silence. 400 years of no signs from God, no prophets, no nothing. Imagine the faith that the people of God had to have in that time of waiting. The time of anticipation of a Savior.
Imagine if today we experienced that kind of waiting. Would we have the faith to believe things we could not see? Would we still have the faith to move forward without hearing from the Lord? I pray I would have that faith.
But then, at the perfect time and the perfect place a Savior was born to save the world. The wait was over and the people of God finally saw signs from Him. There was no more waiting, but only rejoicing in a Savior.
When He came it was gentle. It was sweet. It was quiet. He came in the same manner that He would live. The wait was ended by a glorious birth that happened in a manger.
The wait was worth the gift.
Christmas has been a story of longing that is ultimately fulfilled since the very beginning. Christmas is the gospel. It is a reason to celebrate the goodness and faithfulness of God. Christmas is a consistent reminder that God will fulfill what He has promised us. But we have to trust. We have to trust His time and His plan.
The world has made Christmas a busy time that is stressful and has us in a a frenzy, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It is a time of hope and waiting on God. It is a time to stop and remember that He is good and will fulfill what He has called us to.
My prayer this Christmas season is that I will stop and rest in who God is. I pray that I will know God more because I am more expectant of His work in my life.
Prepare room in your heart this Advent season for Jesus to live, dwell and speak.