Do you get excited about this time of year? In my house, there is A LOT of excitement! There is the anticipation of Christmas, gifts, family, songs, food, shopping and so forth. In racing, there is a lot of excitement of anticipated events, when it is announced a driver is coming to town, or the event you always hoped to get to, or the new season approaching. Think about that feeling. Think about the preparation.
As we think about this excitement and anticipation it takes us back to being a child and the feeling of this season. As we grow older, we can have the feeling squelched. It can be the same with the anticipation for other major events like a new job, house, or the wedding or the birth of a child. If we look only to the wedding and not to the marriage, we have BIG problems. If we only look to the birth of the child and not raising the child, we will fall far short of our responsibility. Although those are great events, they are only a moment of what must be a huge commitment.
So thinking back to Christmas, it is fun to be excited about the celebration of Jesus’ birth but we need to go farther than that, deeper than that. We cannot just look to the day and forget Jesus the rest of the year. The same can be said about Sundays. We cannot just go to church for an hour a week and call it good with God. That just makes us weak. Instead, we should give thanks to the Lord Jesus in November, anticipating Christmas His birth. Then is December, celebrating Jesus coming to earth knowing His mission was going to be dying on the cross for man’s sin. The same can go for church. We should want to worship all week, pray all week, singing praises all week, studying God’s Word all week long. Not just for an hour a week.
Why should we want to invest so much into this? Because God is worthy!! YES, because this too can enhance our anticipation in another area, such as our anticipation of Heaven, the place of worship of the LORD for eternity.
As Christmas nears, let me remind you of this from Luke 2:25-38. Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Can you feel the anticipation of these two Godly people? Let us have that kind of anticipation of the coming of the Lord. Both His first coming that we celebrate this month and His second return yet to come.
Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,