Can you feel it? You know…that feeling when you were six years old and it’s Christmas Eve? The evening is turning to night, and as darkness falls you know the time is drawing near – the excitement palpable, chest thumping in anticipation, and maybe a few noticeable butterflies. And why so excited on Christmas Eve when we were six? Because of the impending visit from the jolly old elf and his team of reindeer! Willing yourself to sleep, in spite of the anticipation on the cusp of something great! Your wildest dreams come true…your heart’s desire will soon be delivered to your very house! Red Rider BB gun anyone?
In this last week of Advent, I believe that’s exactly how God intended for us to feel…on the edge of receiving the greatest, most wonderful of all gifts. It had been foretold: “Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14 CEB). I have to imagine the Israelites experienced some of this Christmas magic too, as they waited and anticipated God’s fulfillment of prophecy. “The Lord says, ‘Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. Many nations will join themselves to the Lord that day, and they, too, will be my people. I will live among you, and you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me to you.” (Zechariah 2:10-11 NLT). Surely they sensed the answer to their longing drawing near. And if they didn’t sense it, they did wait in hope for it. Come thou long-expected Jesus…and in these waning days of Advent we know He is on His way!
In the hustle of last minute preparations, I encourage you to see this season through the eyes of 6-year-old you…wide, expectant, wonder-filled, awe-struck, hopeful. Here’s to breathless anticipation! Here’s to receiving the very best gift EVER! When 84-year-old Anna met that baby Jesus just a short time after He was born, she had that 6-year-old Christmas Eve feeling, prophesying and praising. “…Anna came in and praised God [at the Temple]. She spoke about the child Jesus to everyone who hoped for Jerusalem to be set free” (Luke 2:38 CEVD).
He is coming. He is coming for you and me! He’s almost here and He outshines the star over Bethlehem that night so long ago. He outshines that #1 thing on your list to Santa when you were six…THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL TIME is almost here, and He’s ready to greet you with tidings of great joy! Open arms, open heart where your name is lovingly etched for all time. Peace and Joy be yours this Christmas and always, friends. You are dearly loved.