Posted by: Terry | December 23, 2015

Waiting for Christmas

stained glass widow of nativityAs the children were singing their Christmas songs last Sunday in church I thought about what I would preach if I was the speaker that morning. I thought about a child waiting for Christmas, how it seems to take so long to get here, all of the anticipation and wonder of it all. Then the thought went through my mind, “Kids if you think you have to wait a long time for Christmas you should think about how long they waited for that first Christmas.”

For over 1446 years every Jew from the time they were born until they died lived in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah. Once a year at Passover they remembered that they as a people were freed from the bondage of Egypt, of the promised land, and of the coming of a leader that would be above all leaders. Every week at Shabbat (Sabbath) they remembered that God created the world, that he freed them from the bondage of Egypt, and that there was a coming Messianic Age when all would be set right.

At the time of the first Christmas the Jews were living in Israel, but were not free. They were ruled and taxed by Rome; they longed for the Messiah, the one who would set them free. So when the angel went to those shepherds and said, “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is the Messiah” they knew what it meant, they had waited for the Messiah their whole life.

Waiting is hard, doubly so when much of what we wait for is never realized, but waiting for God in confidence results in commendation from God, Hebrews 11.1-2. In fact, without faith we cannot please God, he desires more than anything our complete trust and confidence, so hard when nothing seems to happen. “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what was promised.” (Hebrews 11.39)

But Christ did come, the 1446 years of hoping were not in vain, Christmas did happen. This is what is on my heart this Christmas, it is not in vain, God has a plan and it will unfold, “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Christmas is a reminder that there is hope, for today and for the future.

There is strength that comes from waiting and hoping, I do not have to try to be strong, only hope and wait on God the creator and Messiah, and somehow in waiting there is strength, it comes from him not me.

He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint

(Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV)

Merry Christmas to all, may the God of hope bring peace and strength for the coming year.

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Responses

  1. Thank you for reminding what Christmas is all about, our Lord and Savior


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