12/24/08

Anticipation

It’s Christmas Eve—get-together time for my immediate family. We “have” Christmas Eve, and my grown sons go to their wives’ homes on Christmas day. As a girl, my family went to my dad’s home on Christmas Eve, and my mom’s home on Christmas—it appears I’ve chosen to continue that tradition.

Actually, I’ve always loved Christmas Eve. Maybe it was the anticipation, waiting for Christmas morning. My parents stayed up late to wrap gifts—more work for them than fun—while I lay in bed dreaming of ripping open those beautiful boxes. Though we’d usually open gifts in our pajamas, clothes were carefully laid out for Christmas dinner (and sometimes, church). Everything was ready and waiting.

I wonder whether the Jews truly anticipated the miracle of Christmas. The devout knew that a Messiah was prophesied. Young Mary and Joseph knew a special baby was due any minute. I wonder whether anticipation mingled with Mary’s labor pains; her baby would change the focus of all history.

Yet today, as I anticipate the celebration of Christmas, I look forward to another day, perhaps not too far in the future. I want to be ready and waiting for that day, too. Some day, Jesus—grown to holy manhood, crucified, buried, resurrected, and my living Lord—will call me to join Him in heaven. “What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see.” I’m getting goose bumps, just thinking about it.

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