The Suspense of Christmas
It started yesterday. I got home and our youngest was dragging out the Christmas tree. I have no idea what it is in me that hates getting out the tree, lights, ornaments and all the other Christmas stuff. Maybe that it all goes back into storage in 3-4 weeks drives me nuts. Its something, that’s for sure. Celia deserves a better attitude, I know, but this tradition of decorating our tree and house brings out the scrooge in yours truly. On the other hand, I love the excitement in the air that builds for the next 25 days and love seeing my kids get excited. I still remember my own excitement when I got my shiny red 10-speed bike on Christmas morning. I love having our kids out of school, the extra time we spend with our family, listening to carols like “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “O Holy Night” and the “Halellujah Chorus”. I love how the suspense builds during this season, but can you imagine how the suspense must have built for those who knew Christ was coming that first Christmas?
700 years before He was born, Isaiah prophesied:
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.” (Isaiah 9:2 NLT)
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 NLT)
9-10 months before Jesus was born, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, Jesus’ mother, and said:
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:30-33 NLT)
After John the Baptist was born, his father Zechariah was very thankful and very excited. In his excitement of being blessed with a son, despite his age and his struggle to believe what Gabriel told him in person, Zechariah rejoiced at the events that were about to transpire:
“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79 NLT)
It must have been a crazy time to be an angel; a baby born to a virgin, teenage mother, in a barn, then going and proclaiming the Good News of Great Joy to some freaked out shepherds. I cannot even imagine the excitement in the heavenly realms as the Main Event in all of history unfolded. This Christmas, when the rush of the season hits, I hope we’ll remember the excitement of Isaiah, Gabriel, Mary and Zechariah. As the suspense builds this season, let’s remember the building suspense of the first Christmas season and rejoice!