12.31.2013

Anticipation and Expectation

I spent the two days before Christmas enjoying all the fun the season has to offer. T and I went on our annual Christmas tree lights drive. I baked and cooked and watched Christmas movies. I wrote cards and leisurely planned my days.

As a kid, I loved Christmas Eve too.

There is something so magical about the night before Christmas. The expectation and anticipation.
It is also sort of sad to me too. When the night was over, it was Christmas and that was the last of the ‘fun’ days of winter break. Life just went back to normal.

I never wanted the night to end. I remember wanting to sleep so I could wake up for the gifts and family time, but also wanting to stay awake and not let the night end. I remember watching the glow of the Christmas lights on our house through my window and trying to stay awake.  

I think about that now. How I often live in excitement and expectation of things to come. How sometimes I don’t want for that time to end because I’m afraid it will just be all back to normal…the magic of the upcoming holiday gone already forgotten.

My hope is that expectation begins to live in my heart all year long- that I can live in positive and happy anticipation, readying myself for the next stages of life.

Christmas is meant to be a time of remembrance and excitement leading up to the birth of Jesus. But it’s not over then.

Jesus is coming back. We should always be living in the expectation of Him returning. I want the excitement, joy and longing to last well beyond one night.

It’s funny how the day after Christmas things can seem so mundane and without light. There is all the built up joy of the lights and the shopping and the baking and the family and the rushing around for it to all culminate into a few hours of celebration and then it’s done. The next day you are left feeling void and sort of hopeless.

But that’s not the truth is it?

Jesus birth was on Christmas but then he was WITH US. He grew into a boy and a man who eventually died on the cross for you and me. Each day after his birth was a day of hope and renewal. Each day beyond that baby boy was one of everlasting peace.

I think it’s so easy to fall back into the trap of the day after Christmas blues. Back to alarms. Back to work. Back to emails. Meetings. Bills. Cleaning.

I was surprised at how easily I slipped back into being the same unfulfilled self. How quickly I was able to forget the joy that is Christmas.

 What if I lived with that joy in my heart all year? What if I continued to remember the magic of what Jesus birth means? What if everyday I focused my heart on Him?

Emmanuel.

God With Us.

Jesus With Us.

Just because December 25th passed by doesn’t mean Jesus left too.

He’s here every day in the alarms, the work, the emails, the meetings, the bills and the cleanings. He’s in the cold winter morning runs. He’s in the cloudy snowy skies. He’s in the seemingly endless waiting for this that and the other to change or ‘go our way.’ He’s in the family discord and the family love. He’s there for all of it. He’s right beside us. Holding us up. Cheering us on. 

Leading us to Him.

So now that the presents are unwrapped and the food is eaten and we are all feeling a little ‘over’ the holiday, let’s continue to live in good anticipation and longing for Jesus.

Emmanuel.


He is With us.