Expecting This Christmas

 

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It's the Eve of Christmas today.  I've been ready for Christmas for a few weeks now, but somehow it still seems to have snuck up on me.  I think it's because I've been so distracted the last few weeks with getting ready not only for Christmas, but for baby.  

The whole last month can be summed up in one word for me - expectancy.  Will she come early like Wyatt?  Will I be able to make it to that party next week, or will I be having a baby?  In the back of my mind is always the thought that she could come any time.

Expectancy

All of my energies have been focused on getting every task that arises done as soon as possible, because if that day was the day, I wanted everything to be ready.  I wanted to be prepared.

These last few days especially, as her due date has been drawing closer and closer, I've been watching for any sign that she might be coming soon - is that a contraction, or is she just pushing out the side of my belly again?  Is that back pain getting worse?  When will she come?

This whole month we've also been doing a Scripture advent calendar for Wyatt each night that his sweet aunt and uncle put together for him.  And last night, after we read the scraps of paper, divided up the chocolate, and opened Wyatt's last advent present, I started thinking about expectancy again, but this time about the expectancy that preceded Christ's birth.

The Jews knew he was coming. For hundreds of years they read prophesies in the Scriptures about his birth. How must it have felt for Mary and Joseph to know that every prophesy, every hope and longing for His coming, was on the brink of being fulfilled through that tiny human baby (that probably stuck his arms and legs out the side of Mary's belly too)?  That all those who had been watching for Him would soon see Him come, just as God said He would?

I'm not sure everyone understood then that He had come not to defeat the Romans, but to defeat something far more damaging to the people God loves - our sin.  That he came to live, and then die to pay for the sin of the world, and then to rise again that we might live.  

That wasn't what some of them expected, but God had His plan.  Still, regardless of what they knew or didn't know about His purpose here then, to have waited for the Messiah so long and then to have Him come must have been something so special.

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It's nowhere close to the same type of expectancy, but somehow waiting for our little lady to arrive has made me think about it more.  I think about how excited I'll be when all these little aches and pains culminate into something that I can actually identify as labor.  I think about how wonderful it'll be to see her little face after all the waiting.  

And I think how thrilling it must have been, after generations of waiting, to know that the Messiah was finally here.  That must have been the most amazing type of expectancy to have fulfilled for those who had been watching for Him.

It's not quite finished yet though.  Jesus is coming again - not as a baby, but to catch us up with Him in the clouds, and to establish His kingdom on earth!  There is plenty of controversy about how and when all the events in the end times will happen, but the bottom line is, we know He's coming back.

Are we waiting for Him now with the same kind of expectancy?  Are we watching for the signs that He's coming soon?  Are we making sure everything in our hearts and lives are ready for Him?

Tomorrow, as I think about the first time He came, I want to remember to watch for Him still.   I want to be ready for Him, and I want to experience that full measure of joy when He finally comes again, because I was watching for Him and expecting Him all along. 

Just like the waiting for anything makes it so much sweeter to receive it, for those who are waiting, and watching, and longing for His coming again, it will be a thrill beyond anything else to hear that trumpet sound and know that He is here.   

To wrap it up, this song kept playing in my head as I wrote this - it's not technically a Christmas song, but it fits - because what a glorious day it will be when He comes again!  

 

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises 
One day when sin was as black as could be 
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin 
Dwelt among men, my example is He. 

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain 
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree 
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected 
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He.

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer 
One day the stone rolled away from the door 
Then He arose, over death He had conquered 
Now He's ascended, my Lord evermore.

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
  One day the skies with His glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
  Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!


Living, He loved me 

Dying, He saved me 
Buried, He carried my sins far away 
Rising, He justified freely forever 
One day He's coming 
Oh glorious day!

-J. Wilbur Chapman


Merry Christmas, Friends! Praying you may have the joy of knowing and waiting for Him too!


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HIS daughter said...

Merry Christmas Callie! What a neat perspective you have this Christmas waiting for your sweet baby girl :)
Praying for you all! Hugs!
Katy :)

Laura said...

That's such a beautiful song and our pastor quoted from it and read it during our Christmas Eve service. He is coming and I pray that I'm ready for Him.

Praying for you and your soon to be family of 4! You must be so excited.

Julie S. said...

Merry Christmas. What a beautiful post. Hope all is well, and I am praying for a safe and fast delivery!

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