For most of us, Christmas is easily a season of expectance. Receiving gifts, eating delicious food, spending time with friends and family we may not often see – whatever your favorite part of celebrating, we anticipate it, look forward to it, and try to savor it as long as possible.
When I had children, I decided to revisit how we celebrate this amazing holiday. As a Christian, it is a pivotal moment for my faith. To celebrate Christmas is to celebrate the birth of my Savior, the fulfillment of God’s greatest promise to mankind, the miracle of a baby born to a virgin, a baby who was both God and man. For centuries, thousands of Israelites had been waiting expectantly for the Messiah, the suffering servant, the promised King. How did thousands of dollars spent on decorations, food, and gifts celebrate that? All I felt I was celebrating was consumerism and gluttony. Sure, we read the Christmas story before opening gifts. But which of those things do I remember with more excitement?
I have recently been learning so much about the excitement of expecting the Lord. To come to His Word in the morning, thankful for it, thankful for His presence, and expecting Him to not only speak to me then, but to speak to me more throughout the day, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. I’ve been moving past just going from one “mountaintop” experience to the next, to the simple amazingly comfortable excitement of His every-moment presence.
For Christmas, as the calendar fills up with events, dinners, and gatherings, I am going to be building even more stillness into my daily routine. Waking up a bit earlier, or putting off that load of laundry so that I can sit expectantly with my Jesus. The One Savior King who submitted Himself to be born as a human baby, to live a life more difficult than mine, and to die so that I can know life, joy, freedom, and the only abundance that matters. I want my Christmas to be remembered as the times that I felt Him most close, worshiped Him most often, and expected more than I had yet that year.
Can you imagine what He will do when His people expect Him to show up this Christmas?