Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Anticipation

It is that time of year when we are all chugging coffee, icing our wrists, and stretching our aching backs as we prepare to take those lovely finals. As we draw our learning days to a close (at least for a few weeks...), we also anticipate Christmas. However, for some reason, between re-taking the ACT and studying for finals, my December hasn't been super Christmassy. This year, I am doing my shopping last minute, have realized  I hate most Christmas music, and haven't had time to see even one Christmas movie! But I have been reading the Old Testament for a Bible class.

All semester I have been reading about how God called, made a covenant with , and has been faithful to His people, despite all their unfaithfulness. Now I have come to the prophets. They tell of judgement to come through the exile, but also of a Messiah who will fulfill God's promises and renew the nations. Then, this morning, I woke up to my sister playing Christmas carols. All the sudden, I was filled with the same anticipation as the Jews had. The Messiah! He is coming! Now is the time!

So, really, this year I am celebrating Christmas the most because I fully understand it. God's story does not begin in the stable, it climaxes there. All my previous Christmases I have missed the thousand years of waiting that came before this little baby's birth. Jesus coming into the world was God fulfilling His final promise, and I can't wait to celebrate!

"And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD." -- Hosea 3:19-20

"And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find the baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'"-- Luke 2:10-14