Following some time in the Word and prayer this Christmas Eve morning, I felt a twinge of sadness- of longing. I have to say, this feeling took me a bit by surprise. I had prayed for God to prepare my heart for the celebration of the birth of Jesus in the flesh, that joyous event filled with awe, wonder, and promise. And I thought how amazing it is to live in a time to know the story of the Savior’s birth. For thousands of years God’s people awaited the Messiah. Thousands of years. They didn’t know the story. They had no idea about Mary, Joseph, shepherds, or wise men. Nor did they know about the cross or the empty tomb.
What must it have been like to wait for a promise for so long? Then it hit me: the longing I feel now is the same of the Israelites of the Old Testament. Like they, I’m waiting for the Messiah- though not for his birth, but for his return.
As has been the case since the fall of man, this year the world has experienced illness, loss, and devastation of all kinds accompanied by fear, anger and sorrow. I can’t help but think, how long must we wait? My heart longs for the King to come and make all things new.
But come again he will. The book of Hebrews speaks of our glorious inheritance secured by the Prince of Peace, the author and anchor of our salvation who came to us as a babe in the manger. The hope of all humanity who came once in flesh 2000 years ago will come again.
This Christmas may we all be filled with praise and adoration as we consider the mercy and grace given to use from God at the birth of the Christ. And in our restless longing may we not grow weary in our spirit; for the Son of Man will come again- though not as a babe born to a virgin, but as the Rider on the white horse coming for his bride. May we rejoice this season in the fulfilled promise of a Savior as we continue to wait in hopeful expectation of what is still to come.