What Are We waiting for?
Some of the best parts of Christmas is the anticipation. From the first signs of decorations and holiday aromas, we’re anticipating the people, the memories, the traditions, the parties and…let’s just admit it…some presents! You might not know it, but people were anticipating something before the first Christmas, too. No, not eggnog. Not tinsel. Not decking the halls. But there was a building suspense that God was going to give the world something. Something we might still hope to find today.
Santa. Rudolph. Angels. Christmas carols almost give us permission to expect a little more wonder. A little magic. Even grown ups can suspend disbelief a little for Christmas. We’re told songs have been a part of Christmas since the first one. Of course, if all the magic promised in those songs came true, it would really be something. JOY that never goes away? HOPE that feels like certainty? What about this whopper? This baby was supposed to bring PEACE! But it’s hard to ignore that, while we’re celebrating Christmas, sadness, oppression, and violence are still realities in our world today. Nice song, but we’ll have to suspend disbelief to sing it. Or, maybe there’s something more to what we’re celebrating than we realize.
This time of year brings out people’s true motives. Gifts are flying in every direction and a lot of us are secretly thinking, “What’s in it for me?” When it comes to the first Christmas, it’s natural to ask the same question. Jesus was born. But, “What’s in it for me?” Or, put another way, “What difference does it actually make in my life?” In this second morning of our series, we reveal a spectacular present God was hiding in plain sight in that feeding trough. And some people will worry this present isn’t for them at all.
4 million babies are born in the US every single year. You were one of them. But, for the most part, we only care about and keep up with the ones we’re related to. Every once in awhile, there’s a birthday the world keeps celebrating, but only because that baby grew to be an adult who DID something we appreciate. Maybe Jesus’ is the most remembered and celebrated baby of all time is because the promises of his LIFE are promises we want to be true for us. And, if Jesus really delivered on the greatest of those promises, then it shouldn’t surprise us that this birth is more important to history than any president, saint or nephew.
It’s finally here! Christmas is here! The moment so many people—young and old—have been waiting for. Some can’t wait for the songs. Some can’t wait for the food. Some anticipate great memories being made. And, of course, most of us can’t wait for the presents! Then, there are some of us that feel so disconnected or lost right now that no amount of Christmas cheer or Christmas presents could turn it around. Unless, God has saved his best present for last.