The last several weeks have been very busy for Janet and me. Last week, our niece, Emily, had hip surgery here in Carmel and she has been recuperating at our home until last Friday when she and her mother, Janet’s younger sister, went back to their home in Williamsburg.
Today, our daughter, Jill, and her family arrived from Oklahoma and they will be here for the next week. In addition to all this, Janet and I just returned from a concert in downtown Indianapolis where we were able to see the group Straight No Chaser, a male a cappella group that started with graduates from Indiana University. All said and done, it’s been quite a time. As I sit here this evening, I am reflecting on all the things that have happened and how Janet and I have looked forward to all these events with eager anticipation.
Of course, we weren’t excited about Emily’s surgery, but we knew that when it was over she would be on the road to recovery. And we always enjoy it when Jill and her family come to visit – we were eager to see them arrive. And then, last summer I bought seats for the show today. We attended it with our son, Andrew, and although we don’t do something like this every year, we waited with eager anticipation for today to arrive so we could enjoy the music of this all male vocal group.
It occurs to me that Christ followers should eagerly anticipate the arrival of Christmas as much as the other things that we do throughout the year. After all, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Savior of the world and aside from Easter, is probably the most important date in the Christian calendar. While we get caught up in the shopping and the parties and the decorations, the big idea here is that we should eagerly anticipate the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Because the whole idea of Christmas is a religious celebration and not the party aspect of the day.
Thousands of years ago, long before the birth of Christ, the prophet Isaiah let us know that God would send a Savior to us. He affirmed that the Savior would be a child and that he would be known by a variety of names. Our verse for this evening recalls the words that Isaiah told us many years before the earthly life of Jesus. We are told, in Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
I think Isaiah was trying to let the people know that they should await with eager anticipation the birth of a Savior. And with the benefit of hindsight, we know that this is what came to pass in Bethlehem several thousand years ago when Jesus was born to Mary, the husband of Joseph as they travelled to be counted in the census.
My encouragement this Christmas season is that Jesus came to save the world and we should celebrate His birth with awe, wonder and thanksgiving. My prayer is that you will take time from your busy schedule this next week and take time to reflect on the love of the Father and what he did by sending His Son to us in human form. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…