Sunday, December 1, 2013

Where will we put Christmas this year?

You would have to be living in a cave or be a hermit on the mountains to not know that Christmas is upon us. Just check out Facebook and see the many varied ways you all have started your Christmas countdown.

I’m still looking for where I am going to put Christmas this year.  Well, that is the Christmas tree.  Every year I go through this process.  

I face the space battle of where to put the tree.  My daughter Lindsay asks me nearly every day if I have put up the tree yet.  She is waiting for me to say yes, “It’s done.”  It’s her rule, since her birthday is December 7th, that the Christmas tree must be put up and decorated before we celebrate her birthday.  I don’t know how she got to write that rule in our family but she did.  

It’s really her way of waiting for her birthday to arrive.  That’s how she prioritizes the annual day of her life celebrated.  Honestly we all look forward to that one day we too are celebrated, don’t we? 

Celebrations…the days leading up to them seem so long… in the wait.  We wait for the yearly celebrations, the annual Christmas work parties, the 5-10-15-year high school reunions, the family photos to land in our mailbox with all the amazing year’s events crammed in an 8.5 x 11 festive copied letter.  We wait for news from the doctor’s diagnosis, the blood test to be positive or negative, we wait for the pain or cold medication to kick in, and we wait and watch the popcorn pop in the microwave.  

We wait for a baby to arrive.  We wait on and for just about everything.  I waited in a line to save money on some Black Friday sales.    

We don’t mind it seems, unless it’s the immediate answers that we demand of God.

….let’s talk about waiting.  

How often do we get impatient when we have to wait on God?  Have you ever found yourself wondering “when” in your prayers?  

Ahem…well I have.  And every time God answers, oh so gently, according to His loving character.  He taps me on the shoulder reminding me that He invented time.  All the minutes are His, so what are you waiting on God for? 

This morning I read in Luke about a devoted man, Simeon, who waited his lifetime to see the face of his Savior.  Wow….how he must have cried out to God so many times knowing that once he did see the promise of the Messiah King, he would die.  He waited his entire life for one day, one event, one day anticipating and hoping to see the Promised King?  

Consider his wait…he was old, he was “righteous and devout”, he was obedient, he showed up for service to the Lord every day.  “He waited for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” ~ Luke 2:25-26

Simeon waited.  He waited all of his life to see Jesus.  He waited to hold the tiny King in his arms.  He waited for that day with much anticipation.  

What causes a man to wait all of his life for this one day of celebration?  

He believed in the promise of the King.  He believed Hope would come down and rescue the Israelites.  He believed the writers of old who prophesied.  He chained his faith to the only Hope that was believable.  He believed in the promise.  He believed in the consolation of the people who prayed.

According to consolation means relief or comfort.  Simeon believed because the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, impressed upon his heart that Comfort was coming.  Promises are believable when they come by way of holy messengers.  God’s word is chock full of promises.  And each and every one of them are believable.  And worth waiting for.

So let’s talk about waiting…shall we?

All those days of waiting and wondering “when” were immediately erased when Simeon beheld the Promise in his arms.  Simeon waited, the coming of our Savior.   I would imagine he savored in the wait…his heart building with anticipation of Hope, coming to earth for a great celebration.  A great birth.

So now, thinking of waiting for this Christmas celebration has a whole new perspective.  

My prayer:  Oh God, may these days of celebration bring the awakening of our souls, may we tarry in your Holiness, so that we can see the face of Jesus, His Holiness through the decorations, the gifts, the preparations, the specials, the decorated walls and pews…to see you Jesus, to behold you, to make room for you in our hearts and our homes.  Awaken our hearts to make room for you.

Come Lord Jesus come, let us prepare Him room.  May we wait well and with anticipation of Hope today and every day. 
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