Christmas—Gifts—Family & Waiting
It’s Christmas Eve, and for many little ones, the waiting is almost over.
When I was growing up, Christmas Eve was when we put up the tree and more. Our tradition was born, in part, from celebrating Advent, that season of preparation, that season of waiting.
Our tradition also helped to keep my parents sane.
There were four of us, and our excitement about Christmas grew exponentially as December 25th approached. Filling Christmas Eve with a mountain of things to do kept us fully occupied until we rushed to church at Midnight. It was a good plan.
And then, Christmas lingered in our home for almost two weeks—through what we called little Christmas, or Epiphany, when we celebrated the Magi visiting Jesus 12 days later.
Yet the waiting…oh, the waiting to get to Christmas was torture!
As adults, many of us are experiencing this struggle of waiting this Christmas. We are waiting for our loved ones to accept Jesus into their hearts.
Today I want to encourage you to never give up.
Waiting is hard, especially when we deeply desire something important to us. The story of Jesus’ birth is a story of waiting. The world waited. The Jewish people waited. A Savior had been promised centuries before. The prophets spoke of him in cryptic language sprinkled through the pages of Scripture.
I ponder this notion—that throughout the Old Testament are these verses, here and there, which talk about Jesus’ birth. They are not all in one place. There is no multi-step plan, laid out in linear fashion, showing exactly how and when God will send a Savior.
Then it happens. Jesus is born. After Jesus’ life, his birth-death-resurrection-ascension, after these events, we can look back and see all the pieces fitting perfectly together.
The same is true for people after they come to faith. After Jesus is born in their (and our) hearts. They look back and see how all the pieces of their life fit together to bring them to Christ. Many realize that the total sum of everything leading up to the moment of Christ coming into their hearts, all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly, was necessary.
It takes waiting.
If you are headed off over the next few days, to visit these folks who you love, these folks whom you are praying for, I pray you will have a great time. I pray they will come to know Christ. I am praying for you and I want to encourage you: be of good cheer and never give up hope, for He is with us.