This morning I was writing a note to a family who had visited our church this week and as I began to write the note I did as I usually do and wrote the date in the upper righthand corner – and it dawned on me that this is DECEMBER! I knew it was coming, yesterday was November 30th, so it was inevitable, there was no way to stop it. And sure enough, here it is.
I do love the season. Our church is covered in Christmas decorations and I have my computer radio station tuned to Christmas music (if you haven’t tried it yet, www.pandora.com is a great website that lets you listen to the style or type of music you want to listen to – this is an unpaid advertisement, by the way). Anyway, I do love the season.
I enjoy hearing about other people’s Christmas traditions and their favorite holiday memories. If you have one you want to share you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click above on the word “comment” and leave it here on the blog.
I’ve found I have different favorite memories from different times of my life. From my childhood, I remember sitting on the stairs of the home where I grew up. My Grandmother always came for Christmas, and she eventually moved in with us, but the deal was we had to wait for her to get downstairs or down the hall and into the living room before we could go in and look at the presents. Now, my grandmother had some physical limitations due to a stroke suffered when she was very young, so that journey seemed to take FOREVER! As I look back I have come to appreciate the patience I had to learn as I waited. I also have come to realize how much greater my anticipation became the more I waited, and that’s a good thing. The more I waited the more excited I became because I knew good things were waiting for me just around the corner.
Yesterday I spoke about Advent and how it is a celebration of the anticipation of God’s grace. It is a time when we look ahead just knowing that God is going to do something amazing (the birth of Jesus certainly fits that description). The anticipation of what God will do can generate a greater sense of hope and excitement about the possibilities just around the corner. It reminds me that no matter how long the wait seems to be as I make this life journey, no matter how much I might wonder if God is going to step in and do something, ultimately I know it will happen. In the same way I had no doubt that my Grandmother would eventually make her way to the living room and I would get to open my gifts, I can know that God is at work, God is moving to make things happen, and there will soon be a time when God does something amazing.
In a video I used to introduce the message Sunday there was a great line that I have held on to – “Christmas is coming and life is SWOLLEN with possibilities”. May your anticipation of God’s great work in your life create a greater sense of joy within you, and may He come quickly to do amazing things in you and around you.
(next week I’ll explain another favorite memory from the later part of my life that makes me think of how God enjoys our joy)
Holy high Christmas five to you, Mike.