Christmas anticipation is the best!
That may sound strange to you, but I love the build up! I love the excitement and energy as Christmas morning approaches.
Don't get me wrong, as a kid I hated it! The night before Christmas was horrible. The agony of seeing the presents but not opening them. The torture of knowing (or thinking you knew) what the gifts were, but not having access to them.
Oh, the night before Christmas was always a long, sleepless, cruel night!
But now, as a father, I cherish the anticipation.
There is a stir in my heart every Christmas morning as my daughters are sitting on our bed waiting, even longing for me to come and get them to open their gifts.
I think my anticipation of watching them unwrap and experience Christmas is greater than their anticipation of opening their gifts.
I wonder if God, the Father, felt that way the night before Christmas. I wonder if He had butterflies in His Spirit as He anticipated the arrival of hope. I wonder if His heart beat faster at the idea of peace, coming to the chaos of the world. I wonder if everything in Him quickened as the plan that was written before time was final about to be set into motion.
I wonder if He cherished the anticipation.
The world was about to unwrap the greatest present known to humanity, and they had no idea, but the Father ... He had been waiting for this moment since before moments were created.
Followers of Yahweh had been longing for the Messiah. For centuries they had eagerly anticipated the arrival of the One who would bring light into their dark world, to make order out of the chaos. To redeem them. Even though they didn't know that Christmas was about to commence, they were in a state of desperate expectancy. They could not wait any longer!
And neither could their Father.
Imagine HIS excitement.
Imagine HIS joy.
Imagine His pride.
Imagine His agony.
For just as the joy of Christmas anticipation was ending, the agony of anticipating His Son's sacrifice is just beginning.
But for now, joy to the world, for the Lord, the Savior, the MESSIAH had come.
In this moment the gloom of distress and the pain of despair are ending.
On this day, the first Christmas, a light to defeat the darkness has dawned.
A Father's anticipation has ended.
Jesus has come ...
From my family to yours, have a very Merry and Hope-filled Christmas,
filled with laughter, joy, and anticipation ...