What Are You Waiting For This Christmas?

Every year, whether we’re ready for it or not, it comes!
In an ironic twist of fate Christmas has fallen on a Sunday this year and many churches have opted to cancel their services.

Ironic, because…well, who needs to meet and worship God when instead we can celebrate him over hot chocolate and self indulgent gift giving?
I suppose I can be glib about Christmas this year since I’ll be working most of the week. I will be Christmas-less Christmas this year.
To add insult to injury, here’s how my gift giving went down:
The UPS truck pulled away from my house and I quickly ran to the door. The Zappos box held such promise. I opened it and sure enough, a clean crisp UGGS box sat looking at me expectantly.
I concluded that my sister had gone out of her way to kindly think of me this Christmas: a new pair of boots to replace my old beat up ones.

Then I opened the box and felt sucker punched.
The boots I expected weren’t there. Instead a high heeled gold trimmed definitely not me pair of boots sat mocking me in the box.
Why in the world would anyone do this to me? I wondered. How could my sister be so careless? I was miffed. Then I noticed how small the boot was. As if the style wasn’t bad enough, the size looked even more ridiculous.
It finally occurred to me to check the name on the box.
Sure enough – the ugly small boots weren’t even for me.
The UPS man had dropped the box off at the wrong house!
Go figure.
Another typical Lina Christmas with its unmet expectations and sordid disappointments.
You ever feel that way?

Every year a specific part of the Christmas story sticks out in my mind.
This year it’s the part about Anna in Luke 2:22-38.
Jesus is already born. The manger a distant memory. The shepherds’ song long gone and the wise men well on their way home.
Mary and Joseph are adjusting to life with a newborn babe. A newborn with eczema and baby acne, and colic and gas and all the scary things that go along with a first newborn.
In the midst of all the chaos was a necessary rite. Jesus was to be taken to the temple to be purified. This was a fulfillment of the law.
God became man born in a manger. And almost every one missed it.
Well everyone except for a man named Simeon and a woman named Anna.
Anna was a prophetess, of the tribe of Asher. She used to be married but her husband had died 7 years into the marriage, and she was now old – 84 according to the passage.
A widow.
Alone on this very first Christmas.

For over 70 years she had waited – anticipating, expecting.
Would this be the year?
Would He finally show up?
Year after year she’d hoped.
Could this be the year God finally answered?

Then one day just like any other…it happened.
Hope did not disappoint.
The waiting was not in vain.
God did show up.
Jesus came.

Every year, whether we’re ready for him or not, He comes.
Christmas is here.
Hope is alive.

hey, check out this podcast from the archives that will encourage you this Christmas season!


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