What are your pre-Christmas memories from your childhood? I remember coming in from afternoon recess at school, getting settled in my desk, and my teacher lighting a candle on an Advent wreath before opening up a worn-out book to read our afternoon devotion. I loved the time before Christmas and cherished that season.
This time was filled with lots of waiting and anticipation as a child. Where has that gone? As adults, most of us have more anxiety than anticipation as the deadline of Christmas draws near.
Because we’re adults, though, this time should be even sweeter than it was when we were kids. With each year of life, we experience more pain and burden, and we sin more sins. We need a Savior. We need rest from our burdens, and that rest can come only through a special little baby.
What would it take for you to truly anticipate the peace of Jesus’ birth this season? What would it take to be still and rest in God’s presence, rather than be a busy, frantic ball of stress? What would it take to set aside some of the earthly stuff and focus on waiting for the Lord? Whatever it takes, it’s worth it. The writer of Lamentations, amidst overwhelming challenges, encourages us in this situation: “It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (3:26).
In this time before Christmas, quiet the outside noise and slow down. Slow down enough to enjoy the waiting game of anticipating salvation’s coming in human form.