Wait. You’re Expecting?
Mary and Joseph were expecting. Maybe they weren’t exactly sure of the full implications of the baby she carried in her womb, but they had the word of God, the promises of God that this Son would be the Messiah who would save all mankind. They expected that God would keep His promises to them: promises to protect, to provide and to bring forth His promised Son into this world.
And here we are in the Advent season of 2021…expecting. For surely Advent is about expecting that Christmas will come once again, the celebration of the birth of Christ will arrive around December 25th according to the calendar and the calendar is never wrong. We expect that there will be special events at church, special music, special Children’s Choirs, special messages to herald the arrival of Christmas in our hearts. We expect that we will be buying presents, decorating the house and the cookies, singing the old songs and remembering the Christmases gone by.
We wait and we expect.
We expect that this Christmas might be a little different than some in the past. Maybe this Christmas will be quieter in your home and heart; the children are grown and “doing Christmas” with friends or in-laws. Maybe you expect to be alone. Maybe you expect and make plans to be with other people, but then covid comes along and spoils all of your plans and expectations as someone gets sick and needs to quarantine. Maybe you expect there might be confrontation with your spouse, your former spouse, or your children as the family battle wages on — no Christmas armistice this year.
Maybe we don’t really verbalize them, but they are there inside us, lurking. We hope and expect that someone will say “thank you” for our hard work and efforts to create the most perfect Hallmark movie Christmas for our family. We kind of hope and expect that our partner will be kind and gentle. We hope and expect that there might be a Silent Night Holy Night after all the holiday commotion and crazy shopping trips and conflicting schedules and one million replayings of “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” on the radio.
“Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.” (Charles Wesley)
Is there truly someone who can give us rest? Is there truly a Savior who can set us free from our fears and sins?
This chaplain says whole-heartedly, “YES!” Jesus Christ, long-expected from of old and yet missed by most of the world when He did appear. “YES!” Jesus Christ who for a time walked among us, loving and serving. “YES!” Jesus Christ who came to pay the infinite costly price for our souls when He went to the Cross. “Yes!” Jesus Christ who joyously arose on the third day, giving us Hope for our own resurrection. “YES!” Jesus Christ who promised that someday soon He would return to bring us to our new home in His Father’s house.
Come let us adore Him, the risen and returning Savior of the world. We can expect that He will forever keep His promises, give us His peace that passes all understanding and love us to the very end. He is worthy of our expectations. He is Jesus. He loves you and came to earth to be God and Man so that we could live forever with Him in heaven someday.
Come let us expect Him to be with us, Immanuel, no matter what Christmas looks or feels like this year. May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make His face to shine on you, may the Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you His peace.